Bristol woman accused of selling underage kittens no longer enrolled in diversionary program

Published on Thursday, 19 August 2021 16:44


SOUTHINGTON -- A Bristol woman now charged by two area police departments with crimes related to the alleged sale of underage kittens is no longer enrolled in a diversionary program.

Abigale Jones, 31, of 489 Wolcott St., Bristol, appeared this week in New Britain Superior Court after Southington police charged her with sale of an underage kitten and second-degree violation of conditions of release.

Jones had been enrolled in a diversionary program in connection with allegations Bristol police filed against her late last year. Diversionary programs allow defendants to earn a dismissal in their cases and elude prosecution. One of the basic principles in most programs is to avoid further arrests.

Judicial records on Thursday indicated Jones is no longer in a diversionary program.

Southington police this week said that Jones allegedly adopted out a kitten on July 28 for $150. Police allege that Jones, who runs Tenderheart Rescue out of Bristol, knew the kitten was younger than 8 weeks old.

The kitten later became ill and died, according to police.

“This likely resulted in the kitten being unknowingly neglected of adequate care such as kitten formula, likely contributing to its decline and ultimate death,” Southington Lt. Keith Egan said of the allegation that Jones knew the kitten was younger than she said it was.

Jones was previously arrested in Bristol in November following an investigation into Tenderheart Rescue, based on allegations that she was selling underage kittens that were sick and dying.

In the Bristol case, investigators said she administers medications and fluids to her animals, and that it’s not always under a veterinarian’s direction, according to the warrant.

The investigating ACO in the Bristol case also spoke to someone who said she purchased two kittens from Jones. One of them died shortly thereafter and the other, which the woman said Jones told her was 8 weeks old, was examined by a vet and found to be just over 6 weeks old, the warrant said. The animal that was examined had a fever and tested positive for an intestinal tract infection, according to the warrant.

Investigators also contacted someone from the Wolcott Veterinary Clinic, who said the clinic had seen two kittens from Tenderheart and knew of a few kittens that had died while in their care, the warrant stated.

In the Bristol case, Jones faces two counts of animal cruelty and one count each of practicing veterinary care without a license, operating a pet shop without a license and sale of an underage kitten. She has pleaded not guilty to all charges and is scheduled to appear in New Britain Superior Court again on Sept. 17.

Justin Muszynski can be reached at 860-973-1809 or

Posted in The Bristol Press, Bristol, Southington Herald on Thursday, 19 August 2021 16:44. Updated: Thursday, 19 August 2021 16:46.