WESTPORT, Conn. (AP and CBS Connecticut) – Police say a 23-year-old Norwalk woman allegedly spotted by an officer using a rock to try and smash open the front door of a closed Westport pet store said she “wanted to set the puppies free.”

 The Hour  reports that the officer heard a banging sound while on patrol at a strip mall at about 2:40 a.m. Wednesday. He spotted a woman running away from the Puppies of Westport store, but caught up with her, rock in hand.

The officer noted there was fresh damage to the store’s front door.

Police say when asked what she was doing, Anouk Govil said she “wanted to set the puppies free.”

In recent months, several pro-animal rights messages were posted online in Govil’s name, including on Change.org and DogHeirs.com.

Puppies of Westport owner Monty Kaufman says he was shocked when he got the call from police.

“We assumed that somebody tried to steal a puppy, which would be terrible, and obviously upset us,” Kaufman said. “The last thing we expected was that someone would have been trying to break in to free the puppies.”

Kaufman says if the 23-year-old had let the puppies run free outside of the store, it would have been dangerous.

“We’re on a major road. We have about 75 dogs in the store. If God forbid she had gotten into the store and let them out it would have been a pretty gruesome scene,” Kauffman said.

Govil was charged with third-degree criminal mischief. She posted $500 bond and was ordered to return to court next Tuesday.

Information from: The Hour, http://www.thehour.com

(© Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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