A Chester County couple was charged this morning with operating a pit-bull fighting ring out of their home - where five children lived -- torturing and killing dogs that "quit" during their matches.

After finding two dead dogs, one of which was burned alive in its cage, officials said, they arrested Shane L. Santiago and Laura Acampara, both 33, of the 1300 block of North Manor Road in West Brandywine Township.

Santiago acknowledged killing 10 dogs, according to the affidavit of probable cause.

At one point, one of his daughters was bitten in the breast by a pit bull she was feeding, and the dog "wouldn't let go," according to the affidavit.

Santiago said that after he freed his daughter from the dog's grip, he executed the animal by hanging.

The charges against the two, announced by the Chester County District Attorney's office, included cruelty to animals and endangering the welfare of children.

When police and county detectives searched the property last week, they found injured and malnourished dogs, the affidavit said. They also discovered a coaxial cable, formed into a hanging noose, and a book entitled "Fighting for Life."

Santiago told authorities that if a dog quit during a fight, it would be executed by one of several methods, including hanging, drowning, and electrocution.

Contact Aubrey Whelan at 610-313-8112, at awhelan@philly.com.