A 23-year-old Norwalk, Conn. woman spotted by an officer using a rock to try to smash open the front door of a closed pet store said she "wanted to set the puppies free," police said.
An officer who was patrolling a strip mall on Westport Avenue at 2:41 a.m. on Wednesday heard a banging sound and spotted a woman running away from the Puppies of Westport store, police said.
Police said the woman, later identified as Anouk Govil, of Norwalk, ran and tried to hide behind the sign for Y&S Laundromat, but police found her with a rock or chunk of concrete in her hand.
When asked what she was doing, Govil she "was trying to set the puppies free," police said. They said she had first tried to smash the door with a cigarette butt receptacle outside it, according to NECN.
"Our initial reaction was, 'Oh my goodness, somebody tried to steal a dog,'" shop owner Monty Kaufman told NECN. "We never in a million years have said that somebody was trying to release the dogs."
He said demonstrators have targeted the store before but have never tried to break into it.
Police noted there was fresh damage to the store's front door, but Govil did not get into the store. Officers noticed that Govil had cut her hand, but she refused to go to the hospital.
Govil has been charged with third-degree criminal mischief. She's posted $500 bond and has been ordered to return to court next Tuesday.
The Hour reports that Govil is a University of Connecticut student.
NBC Connecticut reached out to Govil via e-mail, but there was no immediate response.