I was kind of bored today, so I started flipping through TV channels. I have seen this show Pitbull and Parolees on the TV Guide for some time, but have shied away from watching it, thinking it would be about pitbull fighting, or some type of abuse along those lines. I decided to check it out, preparing myself to be shocked. The only shock I felt was how wrong my preconceived notions were. This show is anything but negative.
I sort of wish the show would change its name because I am sure there are many people like me who see the title and instantly conjure up a negative connotation. In reality, it is about a wonderful woman and her family who spend their lives saving, nurturing, and finding great homes for pit bulls. The parolee part has to do with the fact that the owner hires parolees because as she puts it, “no one else will.” No negativity or high drama there. In fact, I think it is admirable.
The rescue center, Villalobos, is run by Tia Torres. I absolutely love her mission statement, which is, “My mission is to rescue. My hope is that one day I won’t have to.”
The rescue center was located in California for nearly 20 years and then relocated to Louisiana a couple years ago. One show was a commentary about the ups and downs of being on television, and some insight into what does not make the final cut. There was a lot of ground to cover, but what struck me was the difference between how the rescue center was received in California. In California, the police reaction was negative; in Louisiana, the police embrace them.
I really fell in love with this show. There are some sad moments, but the stories are not focused on “shock factor.” The sadness arises from the stupid acts of humans, such as abandoning them when they no longer serve a purpose. However, this is not the focus of the show. The focus is about how, despite poor and neglectful care, these little pit bulls pull through and still have a deeply seeded love of human beings. They do not show graphic things like dog fighting. Instead, they show actions such as rounding up abandoned or neglected dogs.
It sounds kind of stupid, but what first drew me in was seeing the pit bull puppies they have saved. Since Phoebe was a stray, I knew nothing about her until I adopted her when she was seven months old. This show gave me some insight into what Phoebe’s life may have been like before she was rescued, and furthered the notion that pit bulls are forgiving, loving animals. For once, we have a show that focuses on the majority instead of the minority negative hype that has given pit bulls such a bad reputation.
I really don’t have much more to say. The show made me even prouder to own a pit bull. Phoebe and hundreds (maybe thousands) like her are role models, and yet so misunderstood For anyone who has a pit bull, I recommend watching it. If for no other reason than to drive home the point that we (pit bull owners) are not crazy when say that our pitties are wonderful, wonderful dogs.
It’s time to put the bad apples in the bad apple bin, and let the good ones shine. Yes. It is a pipe dream, but shows like “Pit bulls and Parolees” certainly do help.