Pit Bulls & Parolees

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Pit Bulls & Parolees
FormatDocumentary
StarringTia Maria Torres
Country of originUSA
Production
Running timeapprox. 60 min (per episode)
Broadcast
Original channelAnimal Planet
Original airingOctober 30, 2009
 
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Pit Bulls & Parolees
FormatDocumentary
StarringTia Maria Torres
Country of originUSA
Production
Running timeapprox. 60 min (per episode)
Broadcast
Original channelAnimal Planet
Original airingOctober 30, 2009

Pit Bulls & Parolees is a reality show televised on the American Animal Planet cable channel. It premiered on October 30, 2009, attracting over 16 million international viewers since its debut. The show features the Villalobos Rescue Center, the United States' largest pit bull animal shelter, with approximately 150 to 200 dogs.[1]

Contents

Plot

Pit Bulls & Parolees depicts the day-to-day operations at Villalobos, including rescues of abused, neglected, and abandoned dogs, and the Center's efforts to adopt out dogs to new owners. The Villalobos Rescue Center (VRC) founder, Tia Maria Torres, agreed to be on the show to pay for Villalobos' $20,000 per month bills.[2] The show's main focus is the interaction between Tia, her dogs, and the parolees who work for her, during daily care and training duties, and pit bull rescue missions. The center "works ceaselessly to give pit bulls another chance in life. Each and every dog taken in gets spayed or neutered and is given any medical treatment necessary. We work patiently to reacclimatize fearful dogs to the loving care of a human, so that they may eventually be adopted ... After determining temperaments and compatibility factors, we begin that long search for the perfect home." [3]

The show also depicts the interactions between Tia, her daughters (Tania and Mariah, who help run the shelter)[4], and Villalobos' staff of volunteers and employees, many of whom are the eponymous parolees.[2] Torres reportedly began to employ parolees at the suggestion of her husband, Aren Jackson (A.J.), who had personally encountered the difficulties that many parolees experience in finding employment, after he was released from a 14-year prison term. Ultimately, A.J. was sent back to jail after a police raid on the Villalobos ranch on September 11, 2006 turned up a stolen motorcycle.[5] While the Torres family had argued that the motorcycle belonged to another parolee, a second season episode of the show depicted the family agreeing to a plea deal in which A.J. acquiesced to a prison term after being threatened under the three strikes law.

The Underdawgz, Inc.

Instituted in 2006, "The Underdawgz, Inc." is the name given to the VRCP parolee program, which hires both adult and juvenile parolees to work with the center's many dogs.[6] Tia's own personal and professional experience led her to combine her love of dogs with her belief that everyone deserves a second chance, and the center consists of a nearly all-parolee staff. [7] The parolees feed the dogs, clean the kennels, and learn how to train the pit bulls in preparation for adoption.[5]

Relocation

In 2011, Torres had planned to move Villalobos to a small town called Tehachapi, California, around 75 miles north of where it had operated in Agua Dulce, but the community did not welcome her mission, and she was unable to secure the necessary permits. As the rules regarding kennel permits were becoming increasingly strict and expensive in Los Angeles County, the rescue announced on November 13th, 2011, that they would be moving the facility out of California and splitting into two separate locations, in two states. The Sanctuary, a.k.a. "Pit Bull Ponderosa", is located in New Mexico, where a 50-acre ranch was donated to the cause. This location will be used for the "lifers"—seniors and the unadoptables—so they may live out their lives in the peace and serenity of the high desert. The new rescue and adoption facility is located in the 9th Ward of New Orleans, Louisiana, due to the overwhelming pit bull population in that area. [8]

See also

References

External links