Tia Torres Wiki: Kids, Husband, Injury, Age, Bio, Net Worth, Tahyo Tavern and Shop, Pit Bulls & Parolees

Tia Torres, her family and the Villalobos Rescue Center came to fame with the hit television series Pit Bulls & Parolees, which first aired on 30 October 2009 and is still running in 2017. The Villalobos Rescue Center is now located in New Orleans. Since 2017, Tia Torres and her family also operate The Tahyo Tavern and The Tahyo Store in New Orleans.

Tia Torres Kids

Tia Torres has four children – two biological daughters and two “adopted” sons. Tia’s daughters are: Mariah Torres and Tania Torres. Tia Torres sons are: Kanani and Keli’i (also known as Moe).

Over the past years of shooting the show, Tia Torres kids have been growing up and stepping up on camera.

Tia’s Hawaiian twin sons provide the comic relief and work with the most difficult dogs. Her daughters and their crew at The Tahyo help Tia pack and ship the merchandise the family started selling as part of the show, as well as run the Tahyo Tavern located on lower Decatur Street in the French Quarter of New Orleans.

Tania Torres’s (aka Tania Cardello) father became a victim of tragic injury that led to his paralysis when Tania was a child. She lost her half-brother years later in a gang-related shooting.

Who is Tia Torres Husband?

Tia Torres husband Aren is not the father of any of her children. Tia and Aren met during the 1980’s when she was trying to track down the owner of a dog to hand it to him. Jackson married Tia Torres and started to support her rescue. In September 2007, Aren Marcus Jackson was arrested on charges of violating his parole. Find out more about Tia Torres husband here.

Tia Torres’s Injury

In November, 2016 Tia suffered a devastating injury to her leg. She actually breaks her leg in the Season 8 premiere on Animal Planet.

When I heard of Tia Torres’s injury, I imagined something along the lines of Cesar Millan (the Dog Whisperer) injuries, when a dog lashed out at him with its teeth. Tia’s injury wasn’t related to dogs whatsoever. She just fell over the back of a couch at her Tahyo Tavern…

Tia was trying to take a picture of her children at a fan meeting at the tavern. She swung her right leg over the couch, but her left leg got stuck in the couch. Her body twisted and everybody heard a “zap”. Her left knee got dislocated, and she was rushed to an emergency room in an ambulance. It was around 3am.

Tia had an emergency surgery, because the bone was hitting an artery. She knew she would be needing more surgeries and will be off her feet for months…

What happened to the rescue when Tia is hospitalized? Tia Torres’s kids had to step up and start managing the parolees, rescue and adoptions on their own.

Tia Torres Age and When to Wish Her Happy Birthday

Tia Torres (aka Tia Cardello, Tia Macgretor) is 57 years old in 2017. She was born on 06 March 1960.

Tia Torres’s Biography

Tia Torres was born and raised in Southern California. She had a difficult childhood. Tia had no father figure and was raised by her step mother who she considers her only mom.

Her step mother was a former farm girl, and very much an equestrian. She shared her passion for animals with Tia, as well as taught her strength and discipline. She also taught Tia that owning a “pet” is a privilege, and that the animals you adopt should come first. Tia has continued this tradition with her own children.

At the age of 17, Tia left home with her Catahoula Leopard Dog – Cougar, two Arabian horses, and an Angora goat. The teenager struggled to keep all the four-legged family members taken care of.

Later, Tia Torres enlisted in the Army and became a truck driver. This is where she met Tania’s father-to-be. Unfortunately, he was caught up in drugs and became abusive toward Tia, which led to his arrest and imprisonment. Some years later, Tia met future Mariah’s father, who was involved with animals.

Later on, Tia found a job as a youth gang counselor in the City of Los Angeles.

Next, Tia Torres started the Villalobos shelter that was rescuing wolfs and wolf hybrids (Villalobos stands for “village of wolves” in Spanish). In the late 1990s she started rescuing pit bulls as well. This happened after a female pit bull from a local shelter made friends with Tia’s toddler daughters, Tania and Mariah. Tia adopted the dog and later named her Tatanka.

In 1999, Tia and the Los Angeles City Animal Services teamed up and created “The Pit Bull Support Group” – a free service providing spaying/neutering, training, and assistance to anyone who owned a Pit Bull or Pit mix. During this time Tia took on a young man who’d recently been released from prison – her first official parolee hire.

Soon after, she met twin teenage boys Kanani and Keli’I – friends of Tia’s daughter Mariah. The boys were having a difficult time at home, and their home life was not a suitable situation. They were working at Tia’s shelter and soon she adopted them.

Villalobos Rescue Center was now rescuing dogs and humans, as it is extremely hard to find work as a parolee. Tia’s husband was on parole at the time as well.

Tia was dubbed as one of Los Angeles’s “Most Important People” by a popular local magazine. This caught the eye of reality TV producers. Tia didn’t want to be on TV, but finally gave in, seeing diminishing donations, California’s sinking economy, stricter adopting rules in the county, and seeing neighboring rescue facilities close down one after another.

Throughout her life and career, Tia has lived in different parts of California, including: Canyon Country, CA; Santa Clarita, CA; Agua Dulce, CA; Saugus, CA; Sylmar, CA; Pacoima, CA; Frazier Park, CA; Pine Mountain Club, CA; San Fernando, CA. Tia is now living in New Orleans, Louisiana.

Tia Torres Tattoos

The Wolfman tattoo on her left shoulder is her godfather, Lon Chaney Jr. She also has a Raven, her totem animal, and an owl on the same arm. The pit bull on Tia Maria Torres’s right shoulder is a tribute to “Duke,” who rescued her from an attack of a Rhode Island Red rooster. Tia Torres has another pit bull tattooed on her lower back.

The Villalobos Rescue Center

The Villalobos Rescue Center founded by Tia Torres was originally located in Agua Dulce, California. In 2010, the center made about 8 trips across country and finally moved to the New Orleans, Louisiana. It is now located in the Upper 9th Ward area of New Orleans.

Villalobos Rescue Center is a registered charity focusing on rehabilitation of the American Pit Bull Terriers, with help from the parolees who work with the dogs.

In 2014, the organization had approximately 400 dogs. The notoriety of the TV show has resulted in many many dogs being directed to Tia’s organization. Dogs of varying breeds are brought to Tia in need medical attention, shelter or adoption.

The center’s founder agreed to continue being on the show to help pay part of Villalobos increasing monthly bills.

The cost of keeping the Villalobos Rescue Center up and running is around $100,000 a month – this is paid for by donations and Tia’s salary from the TV series.

The Villalobos Rescue Center is now the largest pitbull rescue facility in the country.

You can get in touch with Tia and the Villalobos Rescue Center by email at info@vrcpitbull.com

Pit Bulls & Parolees TV Show

The main focus of the show is the interaction between Tia Torres, Tia Torres kids (Tania, Mariah, Kanani and Keli’i), her dogs, and the parolees who work for Tia, during daily care, as well as pit bull rescue missions.

The Animal Planet show, “Pit Bulls and Parolees” has become enormously successful. Thanks to Tia Torres, her family and staff for all that they do!

Tia Torres Net Worth

Tia Torres’s net worth is estimated to be $300 thousand in 2017.

Pit Bull Controversies

Pit bulls are very popular yet very controversial dogs. Some people claim that this breed has been attacking humans left and right, others – that pit bulls are the most misunderstood dog breed in the world.

One of Tia’s former fans and followers claims that in 2014 her 4 year-old daughter was attacked and mauled to death by the dog the family bought after watching Pit Bulls & Parolees. The family had been faithfully following the show’s advice on bringing up pit bulls, yet the dog attacked and killed the child. The mother hopes that the reality TV star feels responsible in part, and asserts that pit bulls may not be the optimum pet for families with children.

Fans of the show express their condolences to the mother, but say that it isn’t Tia’s fault, since she has nothing to do with the child’s death. People get attacked by all breeds of dogs, get injured and killed by their horses, etc. A child needs to be supervised at all times when interacting with an animal.

Tia is extremely cautious when placing her dogs and had always said that pit bulls can be unpredictable. She and her daughters warn that no small children or pets should be in the home with a pit bull. She has repeatedly stated on her show that animals need to be spayed and neutered, which will greatly reduce their territorial aggressiveness. Tia has dogs that will never leave her facility, so called lifers (some of them are dogs that were used as a bait dog or were ring fighters).

Yet, some of the fans say that it is partly Tia’s fault, since she is promoting a dangerous breed as a family pet and even calls them “nanny dogs”. And that the family relied upon Tia’s advice as that of of a professional expert. Our hearts go out to this innocent child and their family…

Villalobos Events

There’s always something happening within Tia’s family of humans and dogs.

In 2010, Tia Torres appeared on the Ellen show with her pit bull named Snorkie. Both Snorkie and Tia held Ellen’s audience spellbound.

In 2012, Tia came to the defense of Jon Gosselin, who was being slammed by his ex-wife Kate Gosselin for letting his kids cuddle up to his girlfriend’s pit bulls.

In 2014, Tia Torres, the compassionate star of Animal Planet’s reality show “Pit Bulls & Parolees,” spoke onstage during her portion of the Discovery 2014 Summer TCA in Beverly Hills, Calif.

In May 2016, Tia had reached out to help Sparks and David McMurtrie, founders of Pit Stop for Change Rescue & Rehabilitation in River Rouge.

In June, 2016 a visitor confronted Tia Torres over a dog in the care of VRC that she claimed was hers. Tia and her staff knew that the dog in question wasn’t this woman’s. The woman had gotten in her minivan and was driving towards Tia, who was on crutches (from an unrelated knee injury).The woman was two dozen feet away from Tia when one of her staff threw a coffee on the windshield of the minivan, causing her to swerve. This dangerous encounter forced the center to stop public tours of the premises, with the last one being held on June 11, 2016.

In January, 2017 Tia and her family opened up a new bar – Tahyo Tavern, on Decatur Street in the French Quarter. The tavern has dog-friendly seating outside. Profits from the bar and the neighboring merchandise store, The Tahyo, will help fund operations at the rescue center. At the Tahyo store (Tahyo stands for “big, hungry dog”), you can buy Signature VRC Harness Leads, Custom Artwork by Mariah, Charms & Bracelets, Pit Bull Shirts, Cups, Sticker, and more.

In April, 2017 fire destroyed Tia son’s home he had just moved into days ago with his family. Tia received numerous emails, phone calls, letters and messages to support her, as she always does from the fans of Pit Bulls & Parolees.

Comments

  • Tonya Ray on

    I am absolutely shocked that someone would say it’s the fault of the show or Tia over the sad attack on a child by a family pet, does that mean I can blame all food manufacturer’s and Television for advertising products that make me gain weight? People are crazy. ..Tia and the show are all doing something great for humans and animals alike, I wish I had the opportunity to do the same. Keep doing what you do, and you will have many who appreciate your efforts, your family and friends as well! !! God bless you all! !!

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    • Robyn on

      I couldn’t agree more. I have watched Tia and her family since the beginning and appreciate, respect and love what the do and stand for. It’s because of them I now have a pitbull named Duke. I’ve had Great Pyrenees for 10 years now and just lost my boy in March, he was difficult and not too pleasant to doctor so should the Gteat Pyr be deemed vicious. As difficult as he was, he was also my light, my calm and missed terribly every second of every day. Dogs are like humans you learn their personalities and work with it. My little bully Duke is so sweet and smart and he loves his big sister, when her brother passed she was so sad and now she has a new brother to raise. I will always have a Pyr and a bully as long as I live . Thank you Tia and family for everything. This little guy is named I. Respect to his big brother we lost and your boy. God bless and keep rockin it.

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      • Lisa on

        That’s funny. I also have a Pyr (Ellie) and Pibble (Blossom). The irony I have to deal with…The Pibble is the sweet, submissive and the Pyr is the jerk…lol. On a few occasions Ellie has decided to wear her cranky pants and start junk with Blossom. Even though they stop IMMEDIATELY when I give a sharp “EH”, Blossom always ends up with a mark on her nose. We joke that the “Pit” from the ghetto came to us without a mark and now has “fighting” scars from the “Guardian” dog. Oh, and Ellie doesn’t have a mark on her. Blossom NEVER actually bites her back. But, those damn vicious Pits, right?

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  • Teresa on

    Thank you for the article on Villalobos and Tia Torres. I just want to kindly and respectfully suggest proof reading the information you present. There is an abundance of typos and grammatical errors. It will help your site to be seen as a reliable source for news and information.

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    • Sabrina VonHorn on

      Who cares about grammar and punctuation these days..as long as your able to read it, you should be fine. Not all ppl have the luxury of proper education.

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      • Lori on

        I care! I noticed the same thing and having never been on this site before I was thinking it was probably a bogus site because of the writing, just like how one of the giveaways of a phishing email is spelling and grammar mistakes. I actually stopped reading the article about one third of the way through but happened to not close out the window and only finished it when I came back because something in the headline caught my eye. Now reading the comments, it seems more legit.

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        • Jeannette on

          I love this show and I love everything Tia Torres stands for .She in her family have done so much for the pit bulls . These poor dogs are so sweet but they are so d***** misunderstood .Tia and her family are changing this little-by-little .Hats off to her and her family .She’s had a hard life but she will be rewarded in the end .God-bless you Tia you in your family

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      • Lisa on

        Unfortunately, people that are blessed with not only a proper, but very good education, are guilty of this. And to make your comment even more irrelevant, the previous commenter was speaking directly to someone we can safely assume DID receive a “proper” education. One doesn’t normally see uneducated drop-outs persuing a journalism career.
        By the way, being that indifferent to the steady decline in the standards we should hold ourselves to is scary, depressing, disgusting and the reason we are settling at the bottom of the barrel educationally…WORLDWIDE. We should expect nothing less than for people to use English properly, rather than butchering it. Especially since it’s our FIRST LANGUAGE!!!!

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        • Tori Dominica on

          HELLO??? Every was discussing the unflappable way Tia, her four children and the Parolees conduct their business at the Villalobos Rescue Center and Assumption Parrish. As opposed to wasting precious space b s ing about language why don’t you clowns read all of their Bio’s. Through no fault of their own Tia, Mariah, Tania and The Twins have very tough lives but have grown stronger having gotten through each and every personal and natural disaster!

          I am 65 years young and small – but tough – just like Tia – ave a couple of tattoos – am 33 years clean and sober and don’t take any bull from anyone!!! I TRULY HATE reviews from closed minded individuals who have nothing better to do than bitch about breeds they know absolutely nothing about.

          I don’t ‘own’ my dogs – I consider myself ‘Blessed’ with the remarkable dogs I have been fortunate to have had in my long years. My childhood and through adulthood was spent with German Shepherd; smart, loyal, gentle and loving with my six siblings since we were born! In 2000 I was SO excited to have my Rottweiler, ‘Precious Ayla of Clan Marion.’ OMG she was gorgeous! And Precious she was. She was under the impression she was a little three pound lap dog and sat in my lap watching movies with me.
          Loved the Vet and gave everyone kisses and got belly rubs from nurses and techs along with other clients. Along with Pits all my dogs are also on THE MOST DANGEROUS DOG LIST.

          When are people going to learn that its the active drug dealers and horrible dog fighters that have bred and trained some of these poor and defensive breed to become what they were NEVER MEANT TO BE!! I get so upset when I read crap about Tia and her family and the Parolees. Would you complainers rather have all the stray pit bulls out loose that could hurt out of total fear? Tia and her staff now have approximately 400 pit bulls – HELLO? She and her valuable staff have kept you and yours safe from 400 Pit bulls that would otherwise be OUT IN PUBLIC!!! Can ya hear me now???

          I have assisted friends and breeders in training and socializing their dogs and puppies and would feel absolutely privileged to have the opportunity to work with Tia’s staff at Villalobos. It’s often mentioned the puppies take so much time out of their busy day and having a job of being 100% responsible for the adorable little miracles with that unforgettable puppy breath!!!

          Much love to Tia, Her children, the Parolees, the Pits and all the other animals they love and save.
          P. S. Sorry for your pain RE: Flooding, Forest fires, Son’s house fire, Your broken leg, etc., etc. God Bless you all. Tori 🙂 XO

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  • Susan on

    I live in the town where t happened and by no means do I think it is the shows fault.

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  • Cheri Merritt on

    Tia is my idol and main role model, as woman who moves mountains to make very, very good things happen; as a mother whose kids are friggin’ amazing, and as a warrior for keeping perspective moment-to-moment, no matter what. Her intimate insight into every dog’s personality, needs, strengths and red flags seems to be inexhaustible. (Like, what supplements does she take – where does the energy to keep this up come from?)

    This and My Cat From Hell are the shows I binge watch – can’t get enough of. I’m 69, but when I grow up, I want to be like Tia.

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    • Karen on

      I think she is the most amazing woman to do what she does. She gives me such ambition to want to do the same thing and I only wish that I could! If there were more people like her I don’t think there would be so many dogs being euthanized which I find totally sad, heartbreaking and unacceptable! Keep up the good work she is the most wonderful woman.

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  • Dee on

    I really feel for that lady and what happened to her child but it seems to me that maybe that lady was at fault for maybe not keeping an eye. On her child and I also watch the show I have from the start and because of the work she has done has inspired me go back to school to become a Vet Tech I have also heard her say more then one time about her dogs are sometimes not good for families with children it also seems to me that these parents want to blame someone they need to put the blame somewhere and instead of putting it on themselves lets blame others …really people need to get a life

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  • Sandy on

    I used to hate pit bulls after seeing all the horrible stories A pitbull’s mauling people and children. I only recently picked up Tia,s show Pit Bulls and Parolees, and now I have a totally different opinion. I see that any dog can be loved and trained to be a loving animal to people. I think that Tia and her family, and her parolees are amazing, and I think it’s an amazing thing that Tia is doing for parolees and these animals. I think she is an amazing woman, and I don’t know how she has the energy to keep it up. I love dogs, but because I’ve never had the money to own a home or have a yard for a dog, I don’t think it’s fair to a dog not to have a yard to be able to run in. I also don’t really make enough money to own a dog, but I love animals and I love dogs and I am now taping do is show to be able to watch it. I think she’s an amazing woman and I think her family is doing an amazing thing. Most parolees don’t have this type of opportunity and they are very fortunate as well.

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    • Lorraine Traskos on

      It’s the society that we live in. People don’t want to take responsibility for their actions, they don’t want to take responsibility for their inaction. They just sign up for welfare. They want the government to FIX everything. It’s really time for people to grow up and become the adults that our grandparents and great grand parents were.

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  • Debra Rocco on

    I stumbled onto Pit Bulls and Parolees about a year ago and watched every episode aired, more than once! I can’t get enough of this show! This family is about as real as it gets! I laughed, and I cried and feel like I am part of this family. Being a huge animal lover, I can’t tell you how much I have learned from watching this family show. I love the fact that they not only rescue, but help the parolees get a new leaf on life. Some make it, some don’t. We see it all! There is no sugar coating anything. I recently visited New Orleans and got a glimpse of Villalobos, took some pictures and wished I could have met Tia and her family. Someday, I hope I will! I can’t wait till the new season begins! Don’t call, text or knock on my door, cause I will be busy! Keep up the good work, God Bless All Of You!

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  • Gaby Urbanski on

    I live in the UK and only stumbled on Villalobos and Parolees about a month ago. Having enjoyed the episode I watched I came to the conclusion that I needed to see more so, went to Catch Up TV on Sky and downloaded every episode I havent seen and have been chain watching at weekends meaning my husband has to watch his programmes on TV in another room. This is a “1 in a million” unconventional, Family who make it their mission to give 2nd chances to unwanted and abused dogs and employing parolees where no-one else would. Tia, God bless you, your family and parolees. Keep up the awesome work you do for as long as possible.

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  • Paula on

    Tia and her family are wonderful for what they do. Pit bulls do have bad names, but it’s how you raise them. You can make any animal , especially a dog mean. I have great respect for Tia and her family!

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  • Trudy Pertschi on

    I have watched Tia and family since they first appeared on Animal Planet. This family is real and have so much love in their hearts!
    God Bless you and your family…….Tia you are a true Pit Bull Whisperer! Parents can learn from Tia about children and animals living together. The parolees sure do gain skills from the dogs and the family about loyalty and dependibilty , It is great to see the parolees move on to successful new live’s and having a happy family to love. May Villalobos shine bright for all who need it’s care and love!

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  • Nadine on

    I absolutely love this show! I love her and each member of her family. Also all her Parolies that work for her! They are all one big wonderful loving family! Everyone of them , as they each marry. They bring another into their great loving family. I would be so proud to work with people like this. God Bless all you and your big family each and everyone of you. I hope the show stays on for years so it helps pay for the dog shelter and all you do for the dogs and the guys you give a second chance to! I wish I could afford to donate. I amine of those I guess you could say. Disabled just holding on to keep a roof over my head. I know one thing. If I lived down there. I would be at your door everyday to come help. Do anything you asked of me to do. Just to volunteer. Keep doing what your doing Tia! God has a special place for you when you get to Heaven! Much Love to you all❤️

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  • Shelly Bethel on

    I absolutely love this show, I myself always said i would never own a pitbull because of stories i heard, but now I own a beautiful brindle male and gorgeous female blue and they are just amazing dogs most loving and as i dont leave children unattended with them because any animal can be irritated by children not just pitbulls, i have owned spaniel and german shepherds and i found the small dogs are actually most aggressive and most unpredictable.. These are the most misunderstood dog!!

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  • Kdw on

    My son in law has a pit and he is so sweet and loving. I have two little elderly dogs th as t growl at him at times,but he takes them in stride. One is 16 and blind and usually does not bother with jonesy, my pet name for my granddog, the toy poodle may growl at times, but we all sleep on the same bed when he stays with me.I love him to bits. He is such a happy dog too. Brings the joy of life back to his very ill old grammy.

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  • Cilla on

    I prefer cats.

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  • Nancy on

    I watch the show frequently so when it concerns dogs and little kids EVERY responsible person knows NOT to leave children unsupervised at any time, let alone with a dog, cat goat, chimpaneze, etc. Villalobos folks tell adopters, dogs and kids must be supervised.

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  • Lisa from Boston Ma on

    I am Ashamed to say I was one of those people who didnt like Pitbulls. And when My Husband Rescued a Pit Puppy and Brought Him Home I said to him you better not have gotten a Pitbull if you did you’re out!! When i got home and saw the Lil Pitty Pup I Fell In love!! He Looks Like A Baby Cow hes Tan And White!!! His Name is Chase he is 8yrs old! He is the Most Amazing Lovable Loyal Happy Playful Dog Still at 8yrs old. Chase Loves Children Young and Old! Now let me say I would be the first person to come to the defense for a Pitbull!! People should educate themselves before voicing an opinion on the breed!! I feel what Tia and Her Children and their husbands and wives do for the Pitbull Breed is Amazing!! And helping Parolees as well is Incredible!! Tia Torrez is My Idol! I Hope one day to be able to meet her and her children and let them know in person how truly Amazing they all are!! I would Love to One Day Be Able To Volenteer At Viallobos!! Keep Doing What Your Doing because its Making a Difference!!

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