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Pit Bulls and Parolees

Pit Bulls and Parolees

Photo Credit:  Animal Planet / Bob Croslin
  • Premiered: 
    October 30, 2009
    (Click date to see TV listings for that day)

  • Network: Animal Planet
  • Category: Series
  • Genre: Reality
  • Type: Live Action
  • Concept: 
  • Subject Matter: Workplace
  • Tags: animal

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Plot Synopsis

Tia Maria Torres -- one of the country's most renowned Pit-Bull trainers -- founded and runs the Villalobos Rescue Center (VRC), which is a rescue, rehabilitation and placement facility for abused and abandoned Pit Bulls. VRC houses 200 Pit Bulls on its 10-acre facility and works ceaselessly to give Pit Bulls another chance in life, including many of the Michael Vick dogs and Katrina survivors. Each and every dog taken in, gets spayed or neutered, is given any medical treatment necessary, and is slowly reacclimatized so that it may eventually be adopted. This series puts VRC at the crossroads for a chance at redemption for both man and man's best friend as felons and ill-reputed dogs come together to rescue one another from their dim pasts and bring new meaning to life.

In Season 4, Torres faced her greatest challenge yet: rebuilding Villalobos after moving the entire operation to New Orleans. With her family, trusted parolees, and a crew of new Louisiana parolees by her side, Torres meets unexpected challenges as she pulls out all the stops to run the rescue center in an entirely new environment.

Season 5 premiered on Saturday, November 2, 2013 at 10pm ET/PT on Animal Planet, and in the season opener, Tia recruited the twins and a new work release prisoner to rescue pit bull from the bottom of a 40-foot hole. Plus, Mariah helped Tia with a heart-wrenching adoption to a young couple reeling from the tragic loss of their dog.

PIT BULLS & PAROLEES returned for its sixth season on Saturday, October 4, 2014 at 10pm ET/PT on Animal Planet, as Tia answers viewer questions in front of a live studio audience, sharing behind the scenes stories and favorite moments from the series. In the new season, viewers see Tia refuse to turn away any dog in need. Villalobos has quickly become a community stronghold in New Orleans, with people leaving dogs at her doorstep on a regular basis. Despite having a full house in the Lower Ninth Ward and numerous overflow facilities, Tia has opened the doors to include more breeds than ever, and the financial strains have her at a breaking point, leading Tia to open a local bar as a way to raise more money for the rescue. Plus, Tia rescues fighting dogs from constant abuse and works hand in hand with local law enforcement to remove chained pit bulls during a police raid. As the work continues to pile up, Tia must find trustworthy help and her irreplaceable parolee, Earl, who is about to get off parole, may have found one solution to her problem. Tia's daughters and adopted twin sons continue to be committed to Villalobos. And a hard-working employee makes the transition from inmate on work release to parolee, while Tania's "honeymoon" with her new husband, Perry, has been spent helping her mom keep her head above water.

Season 8 of PIT BULLS & PAROLEES premiered on Saturday, September 19, 2015 at 9pm ET/PT on Animal Planet, with a one-hour special (9pm) and the season opener (10pm) immediately following an all-day marathon (10am-9pm) of encore episodes. After relocating to New Orleans from California in 2012, Villalobos is at maximum capacity with more than 400 dogs. Tia must now open satellite locations amid the bayous of Assumption Parish. This season, Tia's children -- Tania, Mariah, Kanani and Keli'i aka Moe -- along with their significant others take on more proactive day-to-day roles at Villalobos. Because satellite locations are spread among blistering Louisiana swamps and the resilient neighborhoods of the Ninth Ward, all hands are on deck to accommodate the constant intake of dogs. In the swamps, the plight of abused and unwanted dogs isn't limited to just pit bulls. Villalobos now has rescued hounds, spaniel mixes, terriers and more. Villalobos favorite Earl contemplates a risky surgery to correct a debilitating prison injury, and parolee Sui embarks on his first rescue.

On Saturday, November 12, 2016 at 9 pm ET/PT, Animal Planet premiered the ninth season of PIT BULLS & PAROLEES, immediately following a 12-hour marathon (7am-9pm) of encore episodes. In the season premiere, Tia suffers a devastating injury that requires her children to step up to keep Villalobos running, and her family's strength is tested in a way it's never been before. For the first time, Tia's kids are forced to manage the parolees, rescues and adoptions on their own. Throughout the season, the rescues featured are more crucial than ever. Viewers will see first-hand the terrible devastation of the Louisiana floods and how Tia and her family go through incredible lengths to provide relief and assistance with the overall goal of reuniting families and their pets. Audiences will learn more about the parolees and follow their journey as they develop relationships with Tia, her family and the dogs of Villalobos. For Tia, each new day brings happiness or heartbreak -- and sometimes, both.

Animal Planet premiered the tenth season of PIT BULLS & PAROLEES on Saturday, August 5, 2017 from 9-11pm ET/PT, debuting back-to-back new episodes. After a long recovery from a devastating leg injury, Tia gets back into in full swing and relies on her children, their significant others and the parolees to help keep the ever-expanding rescue center running. Tia fights a never-ending battle that's grown to include dogs of every type and size, in desperate need of help. Many are unwanted pets dumped on the road, found wandering in the swamps, or thrown over the Villalobos gates. It's the reality of running the nation's largest pit bull sanctuary, where each new day brings happiness or heartbreak -- and sometimes both. In the season opener (9pm), "City of Second Chances," a mother and son travel from Boston with hopes of adopting a dog, but Tia struggles to find a good fit for the family. Lizzy rescues a maggot-covered dog that was found lying on the road and races to the vet, hoping to save her. In the night's second new episode (10pm), "Young Blood," a new inmate from starts working at VRC, hoping to fill the big shoes that Country Matt left behind. Lizzy and Joe struggle to catch a stray in a nearby neighborhood. A family comes to Villalobos to adopt a dog, hoping to fill a void in their hearts.

Season 14 of PIT BULLS AND PAROLEES premiered on Saturday, October 5, 2019 at 9pm ET/PT on Animal Planet. In the season opener, "Raised in Rescue," teturn adopters visit Villalobos to find a dog that will feel at home on their boat. Tania and Mariah head out to rescue a stray that is hiding beneath a shipping container. And, parolee Jammall starts to slip up, risking his future at the rescue. Later in the season, for the first time, the rescue team celebrates their favorite holiday, Halloween, with a special event to benefit the hundreds of dogs in their care. The rescues this season continue to make a lasting impact on the team, from an abandoned dog with a severe skin condition to strays that lead the Villalobos employees on a wild goose chase. And this season, the Villalobos team sees families from Idaho to Florida to Wisconsin, who've opened their hearts and homes for a new family member. Also this season, a special two-hour cross-over episode features Tia partnering with Amanda Giese from the Animal Planet series, AMANDA TO THE RESCUE. Amanda travels from Washington State to New Orleans to collaborate with Tia to help Bean, a shy dog who suffered a traumatic leg injury after being shot. In the second hour, viewers meet Mai Tai and Sweet Roll, a deaf mother-daughter pup duo, and Super Scootie, a pint-sized ten year-old Pomeranian born with flipper feet who needs massive dental care after living alone in a home for an entire year.

PIT BULLS AND PAROLEES returned for its sixteenth season on Saturday, July 25, 2020 at 9pm ET/PT on Animal Planet. After nearly 30 years in rescue, Tia thinks she has seen it all - but this season, New Orleans rescue life keeps her guessing. In the season premiere, Tia and the Villalobos team receive an unexpected call when a local adopter returns her new canine companion, Sweetcakes, soon after taking her home. Mariah, Tia's daughter, works to rescue Mr. Crowley, a well-behaved dog that was abandoned at a store after his homeless owner could no longer care for him. Viewers also meet Alicia, an extremely emaciated dog desperate for a second chance at life after she is brought to the Villalobos dog boutique in the French Quarter. This season's rescues are full of unforgettable ups and downs, including stories of resilience and solidarity. Tia steps in when a rural shelter meets capacity and takes in new dogs to save them from what would've been their unfortunate fate. She also takes a pit bull rescued from rough conditions in Kuwait. We'll also witness the Villalobos family come together when one of Tia's twin sons is involved in a motorcycle accident, and the entire Villalobos crew pitches in to help with his recovery. Later this season, Villalobos Rescue Center is shocked when their favorite parolee is arrested, leaving his future at the rescue uncertain. Throughout the season, Animal Planet audiences will witness endless heartfelt tales of companionship as dogs find their forever homes.

On Saturday, January 2, 2021 from 9-11pm ET/PT, Animal Planet premiered the two-hour 200th episode of PIT BULLS AND PAROLEES, which also serves as the Season 17 debut. The Villalobos crew celebrates 200 episodes and recount precious memories. From Mariah's beauty pageant days, to memorable rescues. like Walter and Buffy. They reminisce on what it was like to film and the highs and lows of living the rescue life.

Season 18 of PIT BULLS AND PAROLEES premiered on Saturday, April 3, 2021 from 8-10pm ET/PT on Discovery Channel before moving to its regular channel -- Animal Planet -- afterwards. In the season premiere, the Villalobos Rescue Center crew is on a mission to catch a runaway dog, while daughter Mariah gets a creative idea for the parolees to design fundraising apparel. We'll also see a family come all the way from sunny California in search of a new furry family member to share in their adventurous lifestyle. Later this season, audiences will also meet other loving adoptees who travel from far and wide to give these dogs forever homes. We'll see Tia as she visits a Mississippi shelter to give a hybrid wolf dog a second chance at life; daughter-in-law Lizzy as she leans on Tia for support in trying to find a work-life balance as a new mother of two; veteran tenant Lil Rocky as he faces a cancer scare and gets support from the Villalobos crew; and a pair of hearing-impaired dogs, Ben and Spike, who get the care they deserve. Audiences will also witness Tia as she gears up to revamp the Claiborne Warehouse when a hurricane heads straight for New Orleans.
On Saturday, October 22, 2022 at 9pm ET/PT, Animal Planet premiered the 19th and final season of PIT BULLS AND PAROLEES. For over 30 years, Tia and her family have gone above and beyond to give a second chance at life to pit bulls at Villalobos Rescue Center, the largest Pit Bull rescue center in the U.S. while also offering parolees a new start as staff and volunteers. Now, in the final season, dedicated audiences will witness higher stakes as Tia and the Villalobos crew strive to give every dog an opportunity to find their forever home and a second chance at life. And while this may be the end of one chapter, the story of redemption and rescue continues for Tia and her Villalobos family in their never-ending battle to save man and man's best friend.

In the season premiere, the Villalobos Rescue Center is tested as Hurricane Ida bears down on Louisiana, leaving Tia and the rest of the crew race to move the rescue dogs to safety amid the intense storm. Mariah takes the reins for her first solo wolf-dog rescue named Dorothy from the streets of Louisiana, while Lizzy and Earl help a music-loving couple from Kentucky find their dream dog. Additionally, the season opener is a part of Animal Planet's annual "You Watch, We Give" tradition where for every viewer that tunes in to watch the season premiere in real time, Animal Plant donates $1.00 to Villalobos Rescue Center up to the amount of $20,000, which goes toward food and shelter needs for rescued pit bulls.

Later this season, audiences will witness incredible rescue stories from far and wide. We'll see Tia and daughter-in-law Lizzy answer a distress call from a shelter in Mississippi and take on eight hound dogs in desperate condition; the Villalobos team prep to welcome the public for a volunteer day as the new Villalobos Rescue Center location nears completion; daughter Mariah and her older brother Moe put their motorcycle passion to work by building a motorcycle sidecar in honor of her recently deceased dog, Tater, in order to give rides to older dogs at the rescue; and Apple, a senior dog who finally finds their forever home. Audiences will also witness Tia hire her first female parolee in Villalobos History to the team to see if she'll be the right fit as a dog trainer and dog handler.

Other Titles

  • Alternate spelling Pitbulls and Parolees

Production & Distribution

  • Produced by 44 Blue Productions


  • Villalobos Rescue Center (Seasons 1-3) - California USA
  • Villalobos Rescue Center (Season 4 - Present) - New Orleans, Louisiana USA - Map It!