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Puppy love? Bieber, Gomez visit Winnipeg animal shelter

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WINNIPEG - And they called it puppy love.

This afternoon, pop singing sensation Justin Bieber stopped in at D’Arcy’s ARC with his girlfriend Selena Gomez. He left his jacket -- and she might have left with a pup.

Owner D’Arcy Johnston said Bieber’s handlers came into the shop Friday afternoon to "ask permission" for the boy wonder and his popstar "besty" to come inside for a visit.

"I thought they were joking," said Johnston, who promised to respect their privacy and wouldn’t comment about the details of their visit.

"They seemed happy they got to visit some animals," he said.

Right now, the shelter has 30 dogs and 150 cats. Johnston wouldn’t confirm rumours that Gomez took a puppy from the Animal Rescue Centre. He did say that the famous couple seemed to be more dog lovers than cat fans.

"It was nice to meet them. They’re nice kids," he said.

Bieber forgot his jacket, said Johnston, who was waiting to hear from his handlers about it.

In the meantime, he doesn’t think their visit or the publicity from it will help with adoptions at the no-kill shelter. But that’s OK, he said: "I’m so pleased they made us a place to stop on the tour."

Earlier today, Bieber took Gomez, to one of Canadians' favourite hangouts, showing up at a downtown Tim Hortons.

The celebrity couple didn’t need to stand in line at the ticket booth when they wanted to watch a movie in Winnipeg Thursday night: They rented an entire theatre for themselves.

The pair snuck into SilverCity Polo Park Cinemas early Thursday evening to enjoy a private screening in Theatre #1, according to theatre staff who asked not to be named.

They had pizza (cheese only) delivered to their theatre while they watched Real Steel, which is billed as "a gritty white-knuckle action ride set in the near future, where the sport of boxing has gone hi-tech."

Patrons in other theatres at the multi-screen facility seemed unaware the famous couple was in a neighbouring theatre, and the mood inside the lobby was as routinely quiet as any weekday evening. A black Lincoln SUV with a female driver waited outside SilverCity on the north side.

"I had a great day here in Winnipeg. I can’t wait to see y’all tomorrow!!" Gomez tweeted about 8:30 p.m. Thursday.

"Feels good to be back in #Canada — missed home," Bieber had tweeted a couple of hours earlier.

The teen pop sensation was in Winnipeg for a concert Friday night at the MTS Centre.

Gomez is expected to be treated to more than just a movie and pizza while in the city.

A source said Thursday Bieber hopes to take Gomez skating and then to an NHL hockey game. The pair is lining up tickets to the Saturday night Jets game versus the Carolina Hurricanes, the source said.

Earlier on Thursday at The Forks, visitors were surprised when Bieber and Gomez showed up for a stroll. The pair pulled up in a limo around 1:30 p.m., according to observers, and spent a short time walking outside. They were later spotted noshing at a downtown restaurant.

"There was certainly a buzz going around," said Forks COO Paul Jordan, though he heard for the most part, visitors respected the pair’s privacy.

Though there was no obvious sign of them at The Forks by 3 p.m., Gomez and Bieber left a few packs of tweens scouring the site for a glimpse of the megastars.

Bieber, by the way, has a bona fide Winnipeg connection: his father Jeremy lived here, and Bieber and his father were once spotted at a Manitoba Moose game.


— with files from Melissa Martin, staff


Updated on Thursday, October 20, 2011 at 9:32 PM CDT: Updates with quotes

October 21, 2011 at 5:39 PM: Adds Tim Hortons spotting.

6:06 PM: Adds visit to animal shelter

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