It’s real life drama at the Villalobos Rescue Center in southern Louisiana. For more than 20 years, founder, Tia (Maria Torres) has cared for the “underdogs”- both four and two-legged alike. What is now the nation’s largest pit bull rescue, caring for more than 200 dogs, can make any animal lover both smile and cry.
According to Tia, the cameras don’t catch 75% of what goes on at “Pit Bulls and Parolees” daily life; after all the show only captures an hour of the endless seven day/24 hour job that rarely promises a day off or as Tia notes – “a Sunday brunch.”
“There were no cameras when my daughter, Tania, confronted a drunken woman as she was slamming her Yorkshire Terrier into a fence like he was a football. There were no cameras when Louise and Carol went into an abandoned house to save a litter of puppies; only to then be surrounded by local thugs who tried to intimidate them into handing over the little ones,” stated Tia.
Yet, it’s doubtful that Tia, the tattoo sporting mother of four grown children, who also all work at the rescue, would ever stop helping the most misunderstood breed in the canine world, but even when there are no cameras rolling, the work day rolls on.
Behind the closed doors are still the rent, utilities, payroll and veterinarian bills. Behind closed doors are still the dogs that are left tied to the front gate or Curtis the Shar Pei mix, from Assumption Parish, who was shot and is still recuperating. The list of dogs in desperate need goes on.
Tragically the incoming flood of needy dogs far exceeds the dogs adopted, but this family isn’t giving up. With her dry sense of humor and perhaps a small snippet of sarcasm, Tia confesses:
“Some of you may not like us ‘personally’ (despite even knowing us at all), or like our lifestyle, or our tattoos, or the fact that I don’t brush my hair every day (yup, someone actually based their donation on this), but what you can’t deny is that we are in this ‘for the real’ and every second of every day goes to these dogs. And as I type this, I just got word that the Assumption Parish Jail is completely full, and there is another mama and pups sitting at the gates. Now what?”
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