I have an obsession with Pitbulls & Parolees… Not with the actual dogs and felons, but the Animal Planet reality show that centers around Tia Torres and her Villalobos Rescue Center. I’ve always liked the show but it really hooked me when Tia decided to relocate her rescue from the deserts of California — where locals weren’t being too friendly — to New Orleans.
Why does the location of the the show matter to me? Well, much like the dogs and people Tia tries to help, New Orleans is a bit of an underdog. It needs help. I’ve often thought that if I was just going to pick up and leave my life, New Orleans is where I’d go. I’ve never been the kind of person who wants to move to a hip, thriving city like Austin or Portland. I would move to a place with potential, that needs the help of people who care.
And this is why I like Tia. She saw a place that not only needed her help, but welcomed her with open arms and she headed out to make a life there. She took along her dogs, her kids and “adopted kids,” and her parolees. She didn’t just decide to build a business in a city that needs people to invest in it, she created a business that also helps the city cope with its stray dog problem. (If only there were more of her to go around the entire American south.)
On a recent episode one of my favorite parolees decided it was time to move on and go to one of the Carolinas to create his own pitbull rescue. Paying it forward and what not.
Pitbulls & Parolees is one of those rare reality shows that can show how good some people truly are — and it’s even better that in this case, the good guys tend to be one-time criminals.