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Tia Torres – Turning society's trash into treasure

Tia Torres, is known for her fondness for four-legged animals. From a very early age, she used to adopt neighborhood dogs and stray cats. She was also encouraged by her stepmother to continue her activities for the well-being of animals and she made it an integral part of her life-long mission. After leaving house at an early age of 17, Tia began to take care of not only animals but also people and formed a new family from these lost souls.   

With hopes of aiding people, Tia eventually went to serve the army. Here, she met the father of her first daughter, Tania. Unfortunately, Tania’s father turned a drug addict and became physically abusive toward Tia. He was finally nabbed and put behind the bars. 

Few years later, Tia was introduced to another person, who became the father to her second daughter, Mariah. He was also an animal lover and was apt for Tia. In the late 1990s, during her visit to a local shelter, Tia saw a pit bull and was highly impressed with it. The four-year pit bull, Tatanka (as named by Tia afterwards) ran out from a kennel attendant and knocked down the girls and licked their faces. Shortly, afterwards, Tatanka became an integral part of Tia’s family. With Tatanka, Tia formed the Vilalobos Rescue Center, which is presently the biggest pit bull rescue facility across US.

Tia’s journey to secure the pit bulls was quite tough, as the pit bulls were in news every week for being hostile to public. Tia worked hard to secure a reputable reputation while saving the most harmful type of dog in the world. However, in March 1999, things finally turned in her favor.

It happened, when a two-year old child was attacked by a pit bull and a panic spread citywide. A number of pit bull were turned into shelters, some were set free on the streets whereas some were tortured harshly. The shelters failed to cope with the increasing number of pit bulls being turned in and then they seek Tia’s help. After speaking with the city officials, Tia formed the Pit Bull Support Group, which include obedience classes, spaying and neutering, medical services and training seminars. Tia’s motive was to re-establish a clam ambience in LA and make people know that their pets are not going to turn hostile on them. Now, shelters across the country were seeking her assistance as a pit bull expert and many cities began to execute the same type of program and became positive towards the treatment of pit bull.

As Tia’s career was blooming, her 12-year relationship with Mariah’s father soured, who now wanted Tia and her dogs off his property.  However, Tia putting considerable effort, somehow managed to negotiate a deal, which enabled him to secure the existence of Villalobos Rescue Center. 

During this phase, there was a major turn in life of Tia. While rescuing a dog, whose owner was involved in a criminal case, Tia stumbled upon websites that advertised “prison pen pals.” Here Tia spotted a person, called Aren Jackson, whose very image mesmerized her. Since, Tia was not interested in another traditional relationship, entered into a long-distance, letter writing relation with this fellow. After 14 years, when Aren was set free from prison, they only met in person and eventually tied knot.

The couple realizing the difficulty that parolees face in this society came up with the noble idea of providing work for parolees at Villalobos Rescue Center. At this time, Tia also adopted twin teenage boys, who were abandoned by their mother. In the year 2006, Tia with her family’s aid built a program called The Underdawgz.

However, in September 11, 2006, there was a raid by the parole department in the property of Tia Torres. Some stolen items were detected on the property, which according to Tia belonged to another parolee. Tia’s husband was again put behind bars for the crime. The case is still pending and Tia is also going through hardship to succeed in her mission of turning society’s trash into treasure.

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