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Robert Pattinson, Kristen Stewart Fighting Over Pets; True or False?

Robert Pattinson drives off with his dog.

Robert Pattinson drives off with his dog.

Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart have been subjected to all kinds of tabloid nonsense. But if you think the tabloids have given up manufacturing stories about them now that they have broken up, you would have guessed wrong.

During their nearly four year relationship, they were plagued by endless stories about everything from marriage proposals, engagement rings and secret weddings to numerous reports about Kristen being pregnant. None, of course, proved to be true.

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But the latest story circulating about the ex-“Twilight” couple really takes the prize for tabloid creativity. Numerous so-called gossip sites are reporting that Rob and Kristen are about to come to legal blows over their two shelter dogs, Bear and Bernie.

Rob was photographed leaving Kristen’s house with the dogs in his red pickup truck last May, heading for his own house in Los Feliz, about a mile or so away. The sighting confirmed they had, indeed, broken up.

But now Kristen is reportedly consulting with a lawyer and plans to sue in court to get custody of the dogs. TheImproper traced the origin of the story to UK tabloid Grazia.

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It claimed, citing, as always, an unnamed source, that things were getting “pretty nasty” between them. Kristen reportedly became incensed when she found out Rob had left the dogs with friends instead of her while he was away filming “Maps to the Stars” in Canada.

That supposedly sent her scurrying to her lawyer, ready to spend up to $100,000 to get sole custody of the pets.

Not surprisingly, the story is based on another false story. The magazine claims Rob and Kristen’s relationship turned nasty when she found out he was dating friend, Riley Keough, granddaughter of the late Elvis Presley.

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But that story has already been debunked by Riley herself. They were never dating, so there’s no reason to believe Kristen was upset in the first place.

More importantly, California law doesn’t recognize custody rights for pets. In a divorce, pets are treated as property just like a sofa or a stereo, according to the California Animal Center, which specializes in animal law.

In the case of a co-habitating couple like Rob and Kristen, custody rights are even murkier.

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In the eyes of the law, pets typically go to the person who can prove ownership. If Rob paid to get them out of the shelter, they’re his. Possession is also key. If he has them, most courts would be reluctant to take them away, barring extenuating circumstances like animal cruelty.

Also, animal behavior experts generally believe it’s stressful for pets, especially dogs, to be shuttled back and forth between households and don’t recommend joint-custody arrangements.

“No one knows how they’re going to work this out or where the dogs will end up,” Grazia’s source claimed.

It’s pretty safe to say one place they won’t end up is in court. Unless Kristen can prove ownership, her chances of winning are next to zero.

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