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Connecticut Woman Who Killed Dogs After Claiming They Told Her to Hang Them Pleads Guilty

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A Connecticut woman accused of hanging her two dogs and burying them has pleaded guilty.

Animal rights advocates rallied outside of Bristol Superior Court as 22-year-old Veronica Reyes entered a guilty plea on Wednesday.

"She choked the life out of them. What an awful way to go," said Sherry Pasquale, who took the day off work on to protest outside of the court.

After a two-month investigation, police arrested Reyes back in January. They said they found the dogs buried in garbage bag in her backyard.

She was charged with two counts of animal cruelty.

"I hate to see animal abuse," said Jim Christopher of Terryville. "It's a horrible thing and I'd like to see an end to it and it should be charged as a murder."

Animal advocates had harsh words for Reyes during her first court appearance in January.

They called for harsher penalties for those who hurt animals.

"No one speaks for them so that's why we are out here," said Donna Poss, an animal advocate.

Reyes initially pleaded not guilty.

Investigators said Reyes used a metal and cloth leash to hang the dogs from a tree.

She told police she didn't remember doing this because she had smoked some marijuana that she believed was possibly laced with another drug, KTLA sister station WTIC reported back in January. She said at the time she was also on painkillers and prescribed antibiotics after undergoing a dental procedure.

The following morning, Reyes told police she started to hallucinate; she recalled looking over at the two dogs and feeling like they were talking to her, according to WTIC.

Reyes told police she asked the dogs, "you want me to hang you?" She said they became excited and hyper, which she took to mean "yes."

"Drugs are no excuse. She did the crime. Now she should do the time," said Deborah Vitale, who was protesting on Wednesday.

Reyes later changed her story, explaining to police that she killed the dogs because of stress, and that she had been depressed over a break up, WTIC reported.

Animal advocates said that they're hoping she will ultimately serve the maximum sentence.

"Those details just prove the person's character," said Diane Smith of New Britain. "I mean it doesn't just end with animals."

Advocates said much like a sex offender registry, they'd like to see an animal abuse registry in Connecticut.

The General Assembly said it has appointed two task forces to take a look at the issue.

Reyes faces up to five years in prison. She will be sentenced on May 5.

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