Pit bull project, TV show coming to Kern County

Pit bull project, TV show coming to Kern County »Play Video
Faded is one of many pit bulls around Bakersfield that Eyewitness News Reporter Jose Gaspar met Wednesday afternoon. Faded lives in Oildale with his owner.

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. -- On the Animal Planet TV show "Pit Bulls & Parolees," ex-convicts and ill-reputed dogs come together to strengthen one another.

The person behind this effort is Tia Maria Torres, who pulls the weight of 1,000 men to fulfill her dream of saving pit bulls from dangerous situations and giving parolees a chance to repair their reputations and their lives.

Torres so loves the breed that she obtained a $50,000 grant from the Jason Debus Heigl Foundation to come to Kern County to provide free spay and neuter services, vaccinations, microchipping, training advice, new collar, leash and name tag and dog food for any pit bull or pit bull mix.

"I've been hearing about Kern County for years about the pit bull problem," said Torres. She said she refers more to pit bull owners rather than the dogs themselves.

"Sometimes we're dealing with a rough crowd, you know ... a lot of gang activity, a lot of drug activity," said Torres.

Torres also runs Villalobos Rescue Center in Los Angeles County. She is relocating the center to Tehachapi, where future programs for the Animal Planet program will be shot.

Torres expects the first spay and neuter event to be held in Bakersfield on Nov. 20 at a site yet to be determined. But pit bull owners must make an appointment by calling (661) 238-3030.