ELIZABETH - Authorities say they have broken up a dog fighting ring in Union County.

Union County prosecutors say a multi-agency investigation culminated with the arrest of 10 people on Saturday night.

Some of the suspects were arrested at an Elizabeth home, while the rest were charged after police stopped a van near the residence. They were charged with fighting or baiting animals and could face up to five years in prison if convicted.

Authorities say 17 dogs overall were found in the home and the vehicle, including several with obvious injuries. Most of the animals were being kept in small, dirty cages made of steel or plastic.

Inside the home was a treadmill, which authorities say was used to build up the dogs' endurance levels in preparation for fights, and a dog fighting ring stained with blood.

The dogs are currently being held by the SPCA. They will be checked out by veterinary specialists to determine their condition. Officials would like to eventually have them placed in rehabilitative care.