Pit Bulls & Parolees
|Pit Bulls & Parolees|
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of seasons||5|
|No. of episodes||39|
|Executive producer(s)||Lisa Lucas
|Running time||42 minutes|
|Production company(s)||44 Blue Productions
Rive Gauche Television
|Original channel||Animal Planet|
|Picture format||480i (SDTV)
|Original run||October 30, 2009– present|
Pit Bulls & Parolees is an American reality television series on Animal Planet. The series debuted on October 30, 2009. The series features the Villalobos Rescue Center, originally located in Agua Dulce, California the United States' largest pit bull animal shelter, with approximately 150 to 200 dogs.
Pit Bulls & Parolees was renewed for a fifth season on February 27, 2013, that premiered on November 2, 2013. The sixth season was announced on March 4, 2014, with the premiere later in the year.
In October 2013, Animal Planet re-released selected episodes with never before seen footage and additional information known as Pit Bulls & Parolees: Unchained.
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 help pay part of the Villalobos' then $25,000 per month bills. Since moving the entire rescue group, including all the dogs, parolees who wanted to go, and her family to New Orleans, the expenses have tripled. They are now $65,000 per month. 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." Tia states in the show "My mission is to rescue, my hope is that one day I won't have to." Her passion for these animals is incredible.
The show also depicts the interactions between Tia, her daughters (Tania and Mariah, who help run the shelter), and Villalobos' staff of volunteers and employees, many of whom are the eponymous parolees. 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. 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. Growing up in southern California, Tia Torres came from a broken home and experienced a tumultuous childhood. She longed for a family of her own from very early on and eventually began to adopt neighborhood dogs and stray cats. Because of this, Tia's stepmother encouraged her to pursue the well-being of animals as part of her lifelong mission. 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. The parolees feed the dogs, clean the kennels, and learn how to train the pit bulls in preparation for adoption.
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 13, 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.
Tia Maria Torres - Owner & founder of Villalobos Rescue Center.
Rhino (9 year old Pit Bull (what type?) - Tia's pitbull & Mascot of Villalobos Rescue Center
Mariah Torres - Tania's sister and Tia's daughter.
Tania Torres - Mariah's sister and Tia's daughter.
Kanani Dana Chock - Tia's adopted son from Hawaii. He and Keli'i are twins.
Keli'i Cameron Chock (also known as Moe) - Tia's adopted son from Hawaii. He and Kanani are twins.
Perry - Tania's husband and parolee.
Earl Moffett - Top parolee at Villalobos Rescue Center.
Armando - Top ex-parolee at Villalobos Rescue Center.
Louise - Villalobos dog trainer
- "Pit bulls and parolees get reality show on Animal Planet". USA Today. August 20, 2009. Retrieved 12 December 2009.
- Kondology, Amanda (February 27, 2013). "Animal Planet Renewes 'Pit Bulls and Parolees' for Fifth Season". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved March 2, 2013.
- "New Life. New Orleans. New Season. Animal Planet's "Pit Bulls and Parolees" Returns This November". The Futon Critic. October 7, 2013.
- "Animal Planet Triggers Sixth Season of "Pit Bulls and Parolees"". The Futon Critic (Press release). Animal Planet. March 4, 2014. Retrieved March 4, 2014.
- Manning, Sue (August 18, 2009). "On TV: Reality show funds dog rescue". Fort Wayne New Sentinel. Retrieved 12 December 2009.
- "AnimalPlanet.com - About Villalobos". Retrieved 29 January 2012.
- "Woman rescues pit bulls and parolees". MSNBC. August 13, 2009. Retrieved 12 December 2009.
- "Animal Planet: Tia Torres Biography".
- "The Underdawgz, Inc".
- "The Underdawgz - Adult". http://www.vrcpitbull.net/THEUNDERDAWGZ. Retrieved 29 January 2012.
- "Villalobos is leaving California". February 12, 2012.