PIT BULLS & PAROLEES
Friendly Rating: Older elementary and up.
Safety Rating: Lots of bleeped language, some inappropriate behavior.
Quality Rating: Surprisingly good and heart-tugging.
Second season premieres tonight on Animal Planet at 8 p.m.
Tia Maria Torres comes off as pretty rough around the edges. She’s foul-mouthed, looks like a biker chick and isn’t always the most affectionate or even articulate person. And yet, she is a role model of the highest order.
This is a woman who takes in the unwanted of our society and tries to turn things around for them. Torres runs Villalobos Ranch, a shelter for homeless pitbulls and her employees are largely men recently released from jail. Her goal – to get homes for the dogs and keep the guys from going back.
Safety-wise, you’ve got lots of bleeped language. The parolees smoke like chimneys and don’t always do what they’re supposed to. Tia’s three adult (or almost) children often mouth off at her, and there’s a lot of behavior here you probably don’t want your kids emulating.
And while the show sometimes confirms the perceptions we have of paroled criminals, it also undermines them at the same time. These guys aren’t always that brilliant and they make some pretty stupid choices – largely how they landed in jail in the first place. But they’re not entirely evil, either.
Tonight’s episode is particularly poignant because as last season ended, one of the parolees, Jason, got himself re-arrested and sent back to jail. Torres and her daughter Tania were understandably upset. But all of a sudden, Jason is released and wants to come back.
The other exciting thing about the show is that Torres does know her dogs. And she’s also very careful about finding the right dog for those who want to adopt one. She does an on-site inspection and in tonight’s episode, makes sure that the youngest member of the family can handle the very high energy dog that she’s placing with them.
Torres is all about second chances. She’s no pushover and is not afraid to bust chops if she has to. But she embodies the reality of forgiveness and does not hold past mistakes against anyone. If people were half as forgiving as Torres is, this world would be a lot better place.
If you get a chance to watch the show, let us know what you think.