Pit Bulls & Parolees
|Pit Bulls & Parolees|
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of seasons||7|
|No. of episodes||119|
|Executive producer(s)||Lisa Lucas
|Running time||42 minutes|
|Production company(s)||44 Blue Productions
Rive Gauche Television
|Original network||Animal Planet|
|Picture format||480i (SDTV)
|Original release||October 30, 2009– present|
Pit Bulls & Parolees is an American reality television series on Animal Planet which confronts the misunderstandings of the Pit Bull breed. The series debuted on October 30, 2009. It features the Villalobos Rescue Center and was originally located in Agua Dulce, California; however, the organization has relocated to the New Orleans, Louisiana area.
Founder Tia Torres appeared on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart on September 24, 2014 and stated that her organization has approximately 400 dogs and that the notoriety of the show has resulted in "four times" as many dogs being directed to her organization.
Pit Bulls & Parolees depicts the day-to-day operations at the Villalobos Rescue Center (VRC), including rescues of abused, neglected, and abandoned dogs, and the center's efforts to adopt out dogs to new owners. The center's founder, Tia Maria Torres, agreed to be on the show to help pay part of 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 $80,000 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.
Tia states in the show: "My mission is to rescue; my hope is that one day I won't have to."
The show also depicts the interactions between Tia, her daughters (Tania and Mariah), and twin sons (Kanani and Keli'i). All four help run the center, with Villalobos' staff of volunteers and employees, many of whom are the eponymous parolees.
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. It appeared to be an ideal place for VRC to relocate with the overabundance of Pit Bulls in Kern County and a prison facility in town, with newly released inmates looking for work. VRC secured all the proper permits; yet, at the final moment, Kern County did not grant permission for the rescue to conduct their business in the remote area of "Old West Ranch," Tehachapi. Losing all of her personal savings spent on the Tehachapi project and hundreds of man hours, VRC was forced to remain at the Agua Dulce location.
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 in order to survive financially. After considering various locations, it was the memories of VRC's rescue efforts during Hurricane Katrina that led the non-profit group to choose Louisiana for their new home. It took almost a year to make the entire move complete; on January 1, 2012, Tia Torres arrived with the last group of dogs, making the state of Louisiana their one and only permanent location. The new rescue and adoption facility is located in the Upper 9th Ward of New Orleans, Louisiana, with various other "satellite" locations scattered throughout the South Louisiana area.
- "Pit bulls and parolees get reality show on Animal Planet". USA Today. August 20, 2009. Retrieved 12 December 2009.
- "The Daily Show Interview with Tia Torres". Comedy Central. September 24, 2014. Retrieved 25 September 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.
- "Villalobos is leaving California". February 12, 2012.