Chatham-Kent police say a fourth person has been charged in connection with an alleged dog fighting ring in Tilbury.

John Robert Jr, 21, of Morris Line in Tilbury was arrested and charged with 13 counts of careless storage of a firearm, four counts of unauthorized possession of a prohibited weapon, and one count of possession of a controlled substance for the purposes of trafficking.

He was released with conditions pending a future court date.

Three other Tilbury residentsJohn Robert, 43, Kim Robert, 39, and Michel Gagnon, 41, all of Morris Line are facing total of 288 charges.

Police service and Ontario SPCA executed three warrants at a residence on Morris Line on Oct. 9, 2015.

Police say 31 ‘pit bull type’ dogs and a large quantity of evidence consistent with the training of dogs to fight was seized. 

Fifteen shotguns and rifles along with a significant amount of marijuana was also found and seized.

The dogs have been placed in the care of the Ontario SPCA where they are continuing to be individually assessed and treated. 

About 40 animal rights activists staged a protest outside the Chatham-Kent courthouse Thursday morning.