SOUTHINGTON, Conn. (WTNH) — The owner of a Bristol-based animal rescue and adoption organization is accused of selling a kitten considered too young for adoption, and the pet ended up dying several days after adoption.
Southington police said the operator of Tenderheart Rescue, 31-year-old Abigale Jones, was arrested Tuesday morning. She is facing charges for Violation of Conditions of Release in the Second Degree and sale of an underage kitten. Jones was held on a $50,000 bond.
The person who adopted the kitten ended up filing a complaint to the police. The adoption took place at a home in Southington, where the kitten was being fostered.
During the adoption process, the adopter first noticed that the kitten looked small, asking Jones about the kitten’s age and health. Jones replied that the kitten was 8 weeks old. Veterinarian paperwork provided at the time of adoption stated that the kitten was around 5-6 weeks old. The paperwork was dated July 23, 2021, the day of the adoption. The adopter paid $150 for the kitten.
After the adoption, the adopter noticed the kitten appeared weak had difficulty eating solid food, and later developed diarrhea. The adopter found the kitten dead on Aug. 2.
When police asked Jones about the adoption, she denied being present for it but stated the kitten was 8 weeks old and in good health.
Police found pictures of the kitten, “Eddie” on social media, with posts stating that the kitten was available for adoption and that he would be ready to go to a home on Aug. 7. Police also spoke with the Southington foster home, and they said Jones is the person primarily responsible for the care for the animals and adoptions.
Police concluded that Jones knew the kitten was younger than eight weeks old and did not disclose it to the adopter. Police used this incident and Jones’ current probation status to obtain an arrest warrant.