Bites at Animal Planet

Pit Bulls and Parolees

8 Oct

Pit Bulls and Parolees: New Life. New Orleans. New Season.

 

– A Year of Daring Rescues Proves Life In “The Big Easy” Isn’t Always Easy for Tia Torres –

Tia Torres has spent 20 years building Villalobos, the largest pit bull rescue in the United States. Recently, she’s spent over a year moving her entire operation, including 200+ pit bulls across the country from California to Louisiana and rebuilding it from the bottom up. Once Tia and her family unpacked their bags in “The Big Easy,” they were sure they’d found home.

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Pit Bulls and Parolees Unchained Airs Saturdays @ 10PM E/P.

 

However, the first year in New Orleans hasn’t been easy. From a devastating hurricane that took Tia’s home to an overwhelming influx of dogs and puppies in need, they’ve had to work hard to find their footing. The phones never stop ringing in Villalobos’ new southern home, but it gives Tia the chance to make an even bigger impact on the lives of misunderstood pit bulls and to give back to the city that gave her a fresh start. Viewers can see another new chapter unfold in an all-new season of PIT BULLS AND PAROLEES premiering Saturday, November 2, at 10 PM E/P.

The fifth season of PIT BULLS AND PAROLEES finds Torres in a completely re-established Villalobos in the heart of the New Orleans’ ninth ward. The city offers even more stories of rescue and rehabilitation including a mission involving a protective mama dog and her litter of seven puppies and Tia’s dangerous retrieval of two stray pit bulls hiding beneath a precarious two-ton pile of lumber. This season, Tia and her staff are confronted with more cases of dog abuse and dog fighting than ever before. With bigger and more dangerous rescues, Tia, along with her family and parolees, will stop at nothing until peace is restored in “The Big Easy.”

Continue reading >

16 Sep

Animals weather the storm during Colorado floods

Heavy rains and flooding have crippled parts of Colorado, where six people are dead and hundreds have been reported missing, according to various news outlets. In the midst of the devastation, however, uplifting stories involving animals have emerged, as Examiner.com shares.

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Nicky Toor, 15, is pulled by his dog Chaco down Ninth Street alongside North Boulder Park September 12, 2013 in Boulder, Colorado. (Photo Credit: Dana Romanoff/Getty Images)

Responders from the Larimer County Sherriff’s office have evacuated 475 pets, while the National Guard evacuated one man and his 7 pets (4 dogs and 3 cats).

Not only have animals been rescued, some have also rescued others. In Denver, a guide dog saved his seeing-impaired owner after getting knocked over by floodwaters. As the man struggled, the unnamed guide dog jumped into rising water and went after his owner. Both were swept into a drainage curvert, where they were stuck for nearly 20 minutes, before a police officer and a paramedic rescued them, according to the Denver Post. The paramedic credited the dog and said he believed the man held onto the animal to stay afloat.

As rescue efforts continue in Colorado, places from high schools to churches have turned into emergency animal centers, while area humane societies and animal shelters continue to work on reuniting owners with their animals. Click here for more information on locating pets and how you can help.

Want to watch more animal rescues? Watch these videos for heroic moments captured on camera and learn more about our ROAR campaign.

12 Sep

Two pit bulls make a daring escape from an apartment fire

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One of two pit bulls jumps to safety (Photo Credit: Dan Belderrain/McMinnville Fire Dept.)

Our hearts can’t stop pounding after two pit bull mixes jumped to safety during an apartment fire this week in Oregon.

Stuck on the second-floor balcony of a McMinnville apartment complex, Simba and Brandy made a daring leap, with the help of responders. The first dog stood on the balcony railing before jumping. The second dog followed after firefighters cleared a path by removing the rail, according to WPMI NBC 15.

Continue reading >

27 Aug

RESCUED! ASPCA Helps Bust Second Largest Dogfighting Ring Ever

It's been an incredible week for pit bull advocates! On the heels of President Barack Obama's public opposition towards Breed Specific Legislation comes news of the takedown of what is believed to be the second largest dogfighting ring in U.S. history.

 

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Image Courtesy of ASPCA
Yesterday, the ASPCA announced the takedown ranging across several southern U.S. states and the rescue of more than 350 dogs. Dogs were found in varying degrees of health and most showed the telltale scars from dogfighting. All were left to suffer in extreme heat with little or no access to fresh food and water. Sadly, several dead animals were also found across the properties.

The sting comes at the end of a nearly three year operation involving 16 animal welfare organizations, including the Humane Society of the United States, as well as at least 10 federal and state law enforcement agencies.

Tia Torres, Founder of Villalobos Rescue Center and star of Animal Planet's hit series Pit Bulls and Parolees, regarding the rescue said, "I'm very happy and relieved at the same time that law enforcement around the country is now working together to end this barbaric ritual that some like to call a 'sport.' I can remember the day when dog fighting was tossed to the side like it was not important enough to even acknowledge. To see a surge of power such as this raid, actually brings a smile to my face and lets me know that there is still hope."

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Image Courtesy of ASPCA
Currently, ten suspects are now in custory and facing up to five years in prison. Matthew Bershadker, ASPCA President & CEO closed an earlier blog post with a promise, "I'm very proud that we saved these animals, and the unprecedented ways we did. This is not the last dog fighting ring we'll break up, but you can be sure we'll be working hard until the day we can finally say it is."

Congratulations to all involved on this historic rescue! We look forward to seeing how these dogs progress. For updates on the rescue, stay tuned to the ASPCA's blog or follow the conversation on Twitter using hashtag #367rescue. 

9/16/2013 UPDATE: A trial for the defendants is currently scheduled for February 2014. If convicted, they face up to 15 years in prison. Recently, CNN was granted exclusive access to the ASPCA's rehabilitation center. The images and stories emerging from the rehabilitation center are quite heartbreaking yet an aura of hope remains prevalent. We're rooting for you! Click here for the full story from cnn.com. 

See more pictures from the historic takedown! >>


14 Aug

Real Time Rescue Report: Notes From Villalobos

Surprisingly Human isn't just our catch phrase – it's a way of life and a mantra that all who walk among the walls of Animal Planet live by daily. Over the course of this blog we've done our best to share our stories of what it's really like to work here. More often than not they are a ton of fun and show off what a bunch of goofballs we all really are. Other times, we are reminded of why we bring you these sometimes difficult to tell and always inspiring stories of every day people dedicating their lives to animal conservation and awareness.

Recently on a shoot Pit Bulls & Parolees Executive Producer Lisa Lucas witnessed an incredible rescue. Her words are ahead.

 

Continue reading >

21 Feb

Ten Animals Who Are Ready for Spring

 

It's that time of year again: You're tired of wearing boots and winter jackets, but it's too cold to go without them. You're ready for spring. You're ready for summer. You're just ready to stop freezing your tookus off.

You're not alone. Here are ten animals who are just as excited as you for there to no longer be snow on the ground, a chill in the air and owners trying to make them wear ridiculous (but oh, so adorable!) sweaters.

1. Daisy

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Our dog Daisy's first snow day (submitted by Cliff F.)

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15 Feb

Pit Bulls & Parolees SEASON FINALE: Hurricane Isaac Approaches, Villalobos Locks Down

 

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As Hurricane Isaac tears through New Orleans, Villalobos faces a challenge unlike any they have previously encountered. After evacuating dozens of dogs to an area an hour outside of the city, Tia and Mariah believe they are safe ... only to have their plan backfire when the area floods and they are cut off from the rest of the world.

Storm Surge premieres Saturday @ 10 p.m. e/p

 

Before tomorrow's Season Finale, tune in to Season 4 Unleashed at 9 p.m. e/p.  Join Tia as she looks back at the greatest moments of the season, from dramatic rescues and heart-warming adoptions, to heated encounters with parolees. Plus, a look behind the scenes and updates on the dogs featured this season.

Watch highlights from last week's episode, as Villalobos prepares for the coming hurricane season:

Continue reading >

8 Feb

Pit Bulls & Parolees: Villalobos Prepares for a NOLA Hurricane Season

 

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       Villalobos floods during the first unexpected big storm

 

With hurricane season quickly approaching, Villalobos gets hit with the worst rainstorm yet, soaking the rescue under more than a foot of water.  Knowing that this is just the beginning, Tia sets in motion a plan to get everything ready just as a hurricane begins rolling toward New Orleans.

Storm on the Horizon premieres Saturday @ 10 p.m. e/p

Later, while going through her files, Tia uncovers a clue that may lead Mariah and the twins to track down a Katrina dog’s original owner.  And, trusted Villalobos employee Rico must step up to the plate and hit the road with Tia when his grandparents submit an application to adopt a shy puppy.

 

Watch More Pit Bulls and Parolees Videos >>

 

2 Feb

Pit Bulls & Parolees: Praying for Miracles at Villalobos

 

Pit-bulls-parolees-412Tia receives news of a desperately sick dog coughing up blood on the streets of New Orleans, triggering a race against the clock to save the pit bull’s life.

Making Miracles
Premieres Tonight @ 10 p.m. e/p

 

And, another twist in the story of Chong, the twins’ favorite pit bull, leads the Villalobos team on an emotional rollercoaster.

Finally, Tia offers to help with a long distance adoption necessitating a drive to New York City.

Watch More Pit Bulls and Parolees Videos >>

 

 

25 Jan

Pit Bulls & Parolees: Mariah Gets Heartbreaking News

 

Mariah is devastated when she learns that a friend has passed away in this Saturday's episode, A Family Affair.

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Meanwhile, it's just another day at Villalobos when several dogs are dumped at the rescue, pushing kennels to the limit. 

 

A Family Affair Premieres this Saturday @ 10 p.m. e/p.


And, a couple from Tia’s past and their father-in-law end up adopting four dogs -- meaning a trip back to California for the Villalobos team.

 

Watch More Pit Bulls and Parolees Videos >>

 

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