NEWMARKET, Ont. - Seventy people have been charged in connection with an alleged cockfighting ring in the Town of East Gwillimbury, north of Toronto.

Police say the ring was discovered on Feb. 14 when officers and officials from the Ontario SPCA went to a home to check out a report of animal cruelty.

York Region police say they discovered numerous dead and live roosters and rounded up 70 people at the home.

Police returned the following day and found six dead roosters and 74 live birds, which were euthanized by a veterinarian.

Hugh Coghill, the chief inspector for the Ontario SPCA, says cockfighting is a `truly heinous crime, involving unimaginable cruelty.'

Police allege Danilo Patawaran, 52 and Deanna Patawaran, 46, organized the cockfights and the charges against them include causing unnecessary suffering, keeping a cockpit and keeping a betting house.