Protestors greet Bristol woman accused of killing her dogs at co - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Protestors greet Bristol woman accused of killing her dogs at court today

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Veronica Reyes, who is charged with animal abuse, is expected to face a judge on Tuesday. (WFSB/Bristol police) Veronica Reyes, who is charged with animal abuse, is expected to face a judge on Tuesday. (WFSB/Bristol police)
Protesters showed up outside of the court house. (WFSB photo) Protesters showed up outside of the court house. (WFSB photo)
Animal advocates want an animal abuse registry in Connecticut. (WFSB photo) Animal advocates want an animal abuse registry in Connecticut. (WFSB photo)
BRISTOL, CT (WFSB) -

A group of animal lovers protested in frigid temperatures on Tuesday after a Bristol woman is accused of killing her dogs.  

Police said 22-year-old Veronica Reyes hanged two dogs on a tree and buried them in her backyard. 

Reyes was arrested on Friday

The story has now caught the attention of animal advocates and protesters even showed up outside of the courthouse on Tuesday morning. 

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

Since her arrest, more than 10,000 people have signed an online petition asking that a judge ban Reyes from owning a pet again.

During her arraignment in Bristol Superior Court on Tuesday morning, Eyewitness News learned that Reyes said she was hallucinating on drugs and antibiotics at the time of the hangings. Reyes told police she felt her dogs verbally told her to hang them.

Kevin Beech was in court for Reyes and he even tried interrupting the judge at one point. 

When Eyewitness News tried to talk with Beech, he became agitated and said Reyes was like a step-daughter. 

Reyes has two warrants in Maryland, one for stolen motor vehicle and assaulting a police officer. 

"Those dogs trust you and count on you to provide for them. But to take them outside on a leash and throw it over a tree and use it like a pulley mechanism and watch the dog dangle there and tie it off until he was dead. That's beyond comprehension," the prosecution said in court.  

As for these animal advocates, they told Eyewitness News they want harsher penalties for those who abuse animals.

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

"If you don't want an animal bring them to a shelter, don't do something stupid like that," Christoper said. 

Tennessee launched their animal abuse registry on Jan 1. It would be similar to a sex offender registry. 

Animal advocates said it's time to be the voice for those who can't speak for themselves. 

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

Supporters want an animal abuse registry in place for Connecticut. Lawmakers in Connecticut have proposed it in the past, but the bills died. 

This time around, there are two task forces created by the general assembly. It will be talked about when lawmakers head back into session on Feb. 3. 

"Animal abuse leads to abuse of children, abuse as adults and it's been proven and she is walking proof," Smith said. 

Animal advocates said they also want harsher penalties for those charged in animal cruelty cases. Many said it's time for someone to stand up for animals in the courtroom. 

Doren Doty, Burlington, said authorities should "require that an animal advocate will be in every single animal abuse case in the state of Connecticut, so that they will have a voice.

"We need the judges to take this seriously because this animal abuse, child abuse" Doty said. "It's an ongoing circle of violence."

The judge gave Reyes a bond of $75,000. Even if Reyes posts her bond, she can't own or care for an animal.

Her next court appearance is Jan. 27. 

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