It’s only been a few weeks since filming began on the new season of Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, but there is already plenty of drama.
A source close to Dorit Kemsley, 42, says the mother of two is “absolutely devastated” by a Radar report that she adopted a dog from Lisa Vanderpump’s rescue organization, Vanderpump Dog Foundation, and then returned it to a shelter, infuriating Vanderpump when she found out and causing a rift.
“That story is completely false,” says the insider, who goes on to explain.
“Dorit did adopt a dog from Vanderpump Dog Foundation. She loves animals and has always been a huge supporter of Lisa’s rescue efforts. Everything was great for awhile, the kids (son Jagger, 4, and daughter Phoenix, 2) loved the dog and everything was fine.”
But in the summer, before cameras were rolling on RHOBH, the dog bit Phoenix.
“It was a bad bite,” says the source. “It was pretty traumatic. Dorit and PK talked it out and decided that the best thing to do was find a new loving home for the dog. They were heartbroken, but made the decision for the safety of their young kids.”
The source says the Kemsleys found a home, but before placing the dog with its new family, Dorit called Vanderpump and told her what had happened before asking for her blessing. The source says Vanderpump understood.
Unfortunately, says the source, unbeknownst to Kemsley, the new family didn’t work out and the dog was brought to a shelter where a microchip traced it back to the Vanderpump Dog Foundation.
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Weeks later, after filming had begun on the show, Vanderpump broke the news to Kemsley that the dog had been taken to a shelter.
“Lisa caught Dorit completely off guard by bringing it up,” says the source. “Dorit had no idea that the dog wasn’t still with the family.”
Now, the source says Kemsley is “really hurt” by the whole situation with Vanderpump.
“Dorit is devastated by this,” says the source. “Lisa did eventually acknowledge that she believes Dorit had the best of intentions. But right now, Dorit is unconvinced of the same with Lisa.”
And ultimately, says the source, “the Kemsleys are avid supporters of the Vanderpump Dog Foundation and they hope that personal vendettas don’t get in the way of the charity.”
Vanderpump did not immediately respond to PEOPLE’s request for comment, however, she was approached by a TMZ cameraman outside of her rescue center on Wednesday and defended Dorit’s actions to give up the pooch.
“She did not give it to a shelter; I’m gonna set the record straight with that, that’s not true at all,” Vanderpump says. “She gave it to somebody who really wanted the dog, who assured her it was going to a loving home, and that’s what Dorit thought. She would not drop the dog off at a shelter.”
Added Vanderpump: “Dorit did nothing wrong… It didn’t happen the way it’s been reported and I won’t have that said about my friend.”