Woman accused of hanging her 2 dogs found guilty

Rob Polansky

Bristol, CT -- A woman from Bristol accused of hanging her two dogs went back to court on Wednesday.

It's a case that sparked outrage across the state.

Animal rights advocates rallied outside of Bristol Superior Court, where 22-year-old Veronica Reyes appeared in court and was found guilty.

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

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

Animal advocates told Eyewitness News 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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