SELDEN - A Selden mother pleaded guilty today to torturing and killing dozens of pets, as well as abusing her children.

Prosecutors say Sharon McDonough, 44, took the plea deal to spare her family from the stress of a trial.

Officials say the mother of six tortured dozens of animals and made her children watch. The remains of more than 42 dogs were found buried in McDonough's backyard.

According to prosecutors, McDonough also didn't allow her kids to go to the bathroom, forcing them instead to use pails and bags.

McDonough's attorney has suggested that his client may be mentally unstable.

McDonough's sentencing was set for March 28. She could get up to two years in prison. The time she's already served will count toward her sentence.

The woman's six children are no longer in her care and the district attorney's office will be asking for an order of protection.

Associated Press reports contributed to this article.

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