Woman planning to ‘free the puppies’ charged at ex-Westport business

Monty Kaufman, owner of Puppies of Westport, got a call from police around

Anouk Govil, 23, of Norwalk was charged with third-degree criminal mischief early Wednesday after police said she tried to break into the Puppies of Westport store on Westport Avenue in Norwalk to "set the puppies free," according to the police report.

Anouk Govil, 23, of Norwalk was charged with third-degree criminal mischief early Wednesday after police said she tried to break into the Puppies of Westport store on Westport Avenue in Norwalk to “set the puppies free,” according to the police report.

3 a.m. Wednesday notifying him of a problem at his pet shop on Westport Avenue in Norwalk.

“It was the police and they said I needed to come to the store,” the one-time Westport business owner said later Wednesday. “They said they arrested a woman who had tried to break in.”

Anouk Govil, 23, of Norwalk was taken into custody as she tried to hide from police after trying to break into the shop and “free the puppies,” according to the police report. She was charged with third-degree criminal mischief.

Kaufman said that Govil’s plan to “free” all the dogs at his store was particularly disturbing. The currently are 85 puppies, ranging in age from eight to 24 weeks, housed at the shop, he said.

A police officer spotted Govil while patroling Westport Avenue around 2:41 a.m. Wednesday after hearing loud bangs coming from the area of the pet store located at 255 Westport Ave.

The officer, Robert Castaldi, investigated the source of the noise and discovered a woman, later identified as Govil, at the front doors of the pet shop.

“Upon seeing the officer, Ms Govil ran off and attempted to hide behind a sign in front of the Y&S Laundromat, an adjacent business at 259 Westport Ave.,” according to police Lt. Paul Resnick, the department’s public information officer.

When Govil was confronted by Castaldi, she had what was described as a “rock or chunk of concrete in her hand,” Resnick said.

Castaldi ordered Govil to drop the rock and she immediately complied, he added.

“When asked what she was doing she told the officer that she ‘was trying to set the puppies free,’ ” Resnick said.

Govil was handcuffed and detained in the police cruiser, while Castaldi checked the store’s front doors, where the glass had been damaged by the rock.

Govil, however, did not gain entry to the store, Resnick said.
After she was brought to police headquarters, it was discovered that she had suffered a small laceration on her right hand. A Norwalk EMS ambulance responded to headquarters and treated the laceration. Govil refused treatment at Norwalk Hospital.

Govil was released on $500 bond and is scheduled to appear Jan. 21 in Norwalk Superior Court.

Kaufman said he’s been in business for eight years, selling puppies he gets from licensed breeders. “We’ve sold about 6,000 of them over the years,” he said.

His retail pet store was originally located in Westport.

Kaufman said Govil is an animal-rights activist. “We were aware of her, but never encountered her,” he said. “It’s just unbelievable someone would try this.”

Categories: General
Anne Amato