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Tia Torres

Pitbull Advocate & Rescuer Known for Animal Planet's "Pit Bulls & Parolees"

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 Tia Torres Biography

Tia Torres grew up in a broken home in Southern California and experienced a tumultuous childhood. She longed for a family of her own and began to take in neighborhood dogs and stray cats at an early age. Tia was raised by her stepmother, whom she calls “mom.” The two shared a love of animals and together they struggled to keep the family, which included horses and these “gifts from Mother Nature” as her stepmother called them, united. Times were tough, both financially and physically, and her stepmother raised her and took care of a menagerie of animals all on her own. To this day, Tia equates her strength and discipline solely to the way she was raised. With no father figure in Tia’s life, her mom showed her that if you have the loyalty of an animal companion, you don’t need much else.

At the age of 17, Tia left home and in tow were her entourage of pets including her two Arabian horses, an Angora goat, and her Catahoula Leopard Dog - Cougar. Together, they moved from place-to-place, as Tia struggled to keep all the four-legged family members together. They went through adventure after adventure and sometimes found themselves homeless and sleeping in her van or horse trailer.

Many years later, Tia enlisted in the Army and became a truck driver. After completing her service, she was then hired by the City of Los Angeles as a youth gang counselor. Working with those who walked a fine line between the law and breaking it was always something that interested Tia. This job took her into the housing projects and drug houses that would ultimately lead her into a career of working with parolees.

After some time, Tia’s love for animals would come full circle. It was a chance meeting at a Los Angeles Animal Shelter that would start her love affair with Pit Bulls. A little brindle nubby-eared dog had been confiscated from the scene of a double homicide/drug deal gone bad – the only survivor. Tia watched as animal control officers walked the muscular, female Pit Bull into the shelter. Just as they were putting her into a kennel, the dog slipped out of her lead and began racing through the shelter and made a beeline for Tia’s then toddler daughters, Tania and Mariah. The dog made it to the girls before Tia and they were now lying on the ground with the dog on top of them. This Pit Bull, who had come from unspeakable conditions, was licking them, rolling around with them and slapping them with the now famous “Pit Bull Happy Tail.” The girls exploded into giggles and all their lives were changed forever. At the time, Los Angeles County did not adopt Pit Bulls out but Tia petitioned for the dog regardless. It was only because of her existing relationship with animal control that they released the dog that would be named “Tatanka” into her custody and she became the start of something very big.

Villalobos Rescue Center was a wolf and wolf hybrid rescue and that time, but “Tatanka” was the start of the Pit Bull rescue. Before long, Tia was rescuing two of society’s cast off canines in full force. Wolves and Pit Bulls were portrayed and maligned as “creatures of the night” and Tia fought to prove that they are gentle and loving animals. In March of 1999 the rescue catapulted into the limelight, when Tia and the Los Angeles City Animal Services teamed up to create “The Pit Bull Support Group.” The group was a free service offered to anyone who owned a Pit Bull or Pit mix, providing spay/neuter assistance, training classes, and anything and everything “Pit Bull related.” Who would’ve guessed that this group would grow into thousands and continue on for 11 years? It was during this time, that Tia took on a wayward young man who had recently been released from prison. He would be her first official parolee hire and the word spread quickly.

Two more lost souls also appeared around this time. They were twin teenage boys who were having a difficult time and needed guidance. As friends of Tia’s daughter Mariah, they were brought on to work weekends at first, and then began “hanging around” more often. Because their home life was not a suitable situation, Tia took them “under her wing” and adopted them. The Hawaiian boys, Kanani and Keli’I, were now officially Tia’s sons.

Villalobos Rescue Center was now a rescue for primarily dogs, but it was quickly taking on rescued humans as well. It was next to impossible to find work as a parolee and Tia’s husband (on parole at the time) had a parolee agent, Mr. Angeles, who truly cared. It was actually his suggestion to take on more parolees to do community service that spawned the idea of creating a “real” program. Tia’s work with the Pit Bulls and parolees caught the attention of a popular magazine in Los Angeles and she was dubbed as one of the city’s “Most Important People.” This also caught the eye of reality TV producers.

Tia turned down several production companies because she was a private person and didn’t want to be on TV, but diminishing donations soon took over and she gave in to a world that she didn’t see coming. Despite the popularity of “Pit Bulls & Parolees” and the increase in adoptions and donations, California’s sinking economy still took a serious toll on Villalobos. Plus, the county where the rescue had been residing for 18 years had adopted stricter rules, which brought on increased scrutiny of the business. Keeping Villalobos alive was becoming next to impossible. As Tia watched rescue facility after rescue facility close down, she knew that something had to change. So, after about a year of planning, Tia made the biggest change of the rescue’s long history. She needed to save the 200+ Pit Bulls, handful of domestic house cats (her black cat pride), pack of assorted animals (rooster, reptiles, bird, etc.), 4 human children, parolees, and a gang of misfit lost souls. There was a lot of pressure on her shoulders and the Big Easy was calling her name.

Like so many who helped during Hurricane Katrina, the city kept drawing Tia back. During one visit to New Orleans, she “felt the magic” and she couldn’t stop thinking about all the aid that could be given there. Finally, the decision was made to leave California behind and start a new life in the South.

In 2010, Villalobos Rescue Center undertook one of the biggest adventures of its lifetime. Utilizing moving trucks, a motor home converted into a doggie limo, and even a school bus, the team made about 8 trips across country. And on January 1, 2011, Tia arrived with the remaining 50 dogs and Villalobos Rescue Center found its new, hopefully forever, home.

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Videos
Books
My Life Among the Underdogs: A Memoir

My Life Among the Underdogs: A Memoir

News
FAQs
  • HOW TO BOOK Tia Torres?

    Our booking agents have successfully helped clients around the world secure talent like Tia Torres for speaking engagements, personal appearances, product endorsements, or corporate entertainment for over 15 years. The team at All American Entertainment represents and listens to the needs of organizations and corporations seeking to hire keynote speakers, celebrities or entertainers. Fill out a booking request form for Tia Torres, or call our office at 1.800.698.2536 to discuss your upcoming event. One of our experienced agents will be happy to help you get pricing information and check availability for Tia Torres or any other celebrity of your choice.
  • HOW MUCH DOES IT COST TO BOOK Tia Torres?

    Booking fees for Tia Torres, or any other speakers and celebrities, are determined based on a number of factors and may change without notice. Pricing often varies according to the circumstances, including the talent's schedule, market conditions, length of presentation, and the location of the event. Speaker fees listed on this website are intended to serve as a guideline only. In some cases, the actual quote may be above or below the stated range. For the most current fee to hire Tia Torres, please fill out the booking request form or call our office at 1.800.698.2536 to speak with an experienced booking agent.
  • WHO IS THE AGENT FOR Tia Torres?

    All American Entertainment has successfully secured celebrity talent like Tia Torres for clients worldwide for more than 15 years. As a full-service talent booking agency, we have access to virtually any speaker or celebrity in the world. Our agents are happy and able to submit an offer to the speaker or celebrity of your choice, letting you benefit from our reputation and long-standing relationships in the industry. Fill out the booking request form or call our office at 1.800.698.2536, and one of our agents will assist you to book Tia Torres for your next private or corporate function.
  • WHAT IS A FULL-SERVICE TALENT BOOKING AGENCY?

    All American Speakers is a "buyers agent" and exclusively represents talent buyers, meeting planners and event professionals, who are looking to secure celebrities and speakers for personal appearances, speaking engagements, corporate entertainment, public relations campaigns, commercials, or endorsements. We do not exclusively represent Tia Torres or claim ourselves as the exclusive booking agency, business manager, publicist, speakers bureau or management for Tia Torres or any other speaker or celebrity on this website. For more information on how we work and what makes us unique, please read the AAE Advantage.
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All American Entertainment (AAE) exclusively represents the interests of talent buyers, and does not claim to be the agency or management for any speaker or artist on this site. AAE is a talent booking agency for paid events only. We do not handle requests for donation of time or media requests for interviews, and cannot provide celebrity contact information.

If you are the talent, and wish to request removal from this catalog or report an issue with your profile, please click here.

Tia Torres

Pitbull Advocate & Rescuer Known for Animal Planet's "Pit Bulls & Parolees"

Travels From:
New Orleans, LA, USA
Speaking Fee:

Tia Torres Biography

Tia Torres grew up in a broken home in Southern California and experienced a tumultuous childhood. She longed for a family of her own and began to take in neighborhood dogs and stray cats at an early age. Tia was raised by her stepmother, whom she calls “mom.” The two shared a love of animals and together they struggled to keep the family, which included horses and these “gifts from Mother Nature” as her stepmother called them, united. Times were tough, both financially and physically, and her stepmother raised her and took care of a menagerie of animals all on her own. To this day, Tia equates her strength and discipline solely to the way she was raised. With no father figure in Tia’s life, her mom showed her that if you have the loyalty of an animal companion, you don’t need much else.

At the age of 17, Tia left home and in tow were her entourage of pets including her two Arabian horses, an Angora goat, and her Catahoula Leopard Dog - Cougar. Together, they moved from place-to-place, as Tia struggled to keep all the four-legged family members together. They went through adventure after adventure and sometimes found themselves homeless and sleeping in her van or horse trailer.

Many years later, Tia enlisted in the Army and became a truck driver. After completing her service, she was then hired by the City of Los Angeles as a youth gang counselor. Working with those who walked a fine line between the law and breaking it was always something that interested Tia. This job took her into the housing projects and drug houses that would ultimately lead her into a career of working with parolees.

After some time, Tia’s love for animals would come full circle. It was a chance meeting at a Los Angeles Animal Shelter that would start her love affair with Pit Bulls. A little brindle nubby-eared dog had been confiscated from the scene of a double homicide/drug deal gone bad – the only survivor. Tia watched as animal control officers walked the muscular, female Pit Bull into the shelter. Just as they were putting her into a kennel, the dog slipped out of her lead and began racing through the shelter and made a beeline for Tia’s then toddler daughters, Tania and Mariah. The dog made it to the girls before Tia and they were now lying on the ground with the dog on top of them. This Pit Bull, who had come from unspeakable conditions, was licking them, rolling around with them and slapping them with the now famous “Pit Bull Happy Tail.” The girls exploded into giggles and all their lives were changed forever. At the time, Los Angeles County did not adopt Pit Bulls out but Tia petitioned for the dog regardless. It was only because of her existing relationship with animal control that they released the dog that would be named “Tatanka” into her custody and she became the start of something very big.

Villalobos Rescue Center was a wolf and wolf hybrid rescue and that time, but “Tatanka” was the start of the Pit Bull rescue. Before long, Tia was rescuing two of society’s cast off canines in full force. Wolves and Pit Bulls were portrayed and maligned as “creatures of the night” and Tia fought to prove that they are gentle and loving animals. In March of 1999 the rescue catapulted into the limelight, when Tia and the Los Angeles City Animal Services teamed up to create “The Pit Bull Support Group.” The group was a free service offered to anyone who owned a Pit Bull or Pit mix, providing spay/neuter assistance, training classes, and anything and everything “Pit Bull related.” Who would’ve guessed that this group would grow into thousands and continue on for 11 years? It was during this time, that Tia took on a wayward young man who had recently been released from prison. He would be her first official parolee hire and the word spread quickly.

Two more lost souls also appeared around this time. They were twin teenage boys who were having a difficult time and needed guidance. As friends of Tia’s daughter Mariah, they were brought on to work weekends at first, and then began “hanging around” more often. Because their home life was not a suitable situation, Tia took them “under her wing” and adopted them. The Hawaiian boys, Kanani and Keli’I, were now officially Tia’s sons.

Villalobos Rescue Center was now a rescue for primarily dogs, but it was quickly taking on rescued humans as well. It was next to impossible to find work as a parolee and Tia’s husband (on parole at the time) had a parolee agent, Mr. Angeles, who truly cared. It was actually his suggestion to take on more parolees to do community service that spawned the idea of creating a “real” program. Tia’s work with the Pit Bulls and parolees caught the attention of a popular magazine in Los Angeles and she was dubbed as one of the city’s “Most Important People.” This also caught the eye of reality TV producers.

Tia turned down several production companies because she was a private person and didn’t want to be on TV, but diminishing donations soon took over and she gave in to a world that she didn’t see coming. Despite the popularity of “Pit Bulls & Parolees” and the increase in adoptions and donations, California’s sinking economy still took a serious toll on Villalobos. Plus, the county where the rescue had been residing for 18 years had adopted stricter rules, which brought on increased scrutiny of the business. Keeping Villalobos alive was becoming next to impossible. As Tia watched rescue facility after rescue facility close down, she knew that something had to change. So, after about a year of planning, Tia made the biggest change of the rescue’s long history. She needed to save the 200+ Pit Bulls, handful of domestic house cats (her black cat pride), pack of assorted animals (rooster, reptiles, bird, etc.), 4 human children, parolees, and a gang of misfit lost souls. There was a lot of pressure on her shoulders and the Big Easy was calling her name.

Like so many who helped during Hurricane Katrina, the city kept drawing Tia back. During one visit to New Orleans, she “felt the magic” and she couldn’t stop thinking about all the aid that could be given there. Finally, the decision was made to leave California behind and start a new life in the South.

In 2010, Villalobos Rescue Center undertook one of the biggest adventures of its lifetime. Utilizing moving trucks, a motor home converted into a doggie limo, and even a school bus, the team made about 8 trips across country. And on January 1, 2011, Tia arrived with the remaining 50 dogs and Villalobos Rescue Center found its new, hopefully forever, home.

Tia Torres Videos

  • Tia Torres | Gabriele Philipsen | TEDxPascoCountySchools - YouTube
    Gabriele Philipsen talks about Tia Torres. 4th grader from Centennial Elementary School. This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED ...
  • Tia Torres Was Raised with Wolves | Pit Bulls and Parolees - YouTube
    Tia explains how her experience growing up with wolves taught her so much about canine behavior. She then shows a pair of adopters where ...
  • The Amazing Tia Torres Talks Pit Bulls with Ellen - YouTube
    Today Ellen welcomed Tia Torres to the show to talk about her amazing work at the Villalobos Rescue Center. She rescues pit bulls from ...

Tia Torres Books

FAQs on booking Tia Torres

  • How to book Tia Torres?

    Our booking agents have successfully helped clients around the world secure talent like Tia Torres for speaking engagements, personal appearances, product endorsements, or corporate entertainment for over 15 years. The team at All American Entertainment represents and listens to the needs of organizations and corporations seeking to hire keynote speakers, celebrities or entertainers. Fill out a booking request form for Tia Torres, or call our office at 1.800.698.2536 to discuss your upcoming event. One of our experienced agents will be happy to help you get pricing information and check availability for Tia Torres or any other celebrity of your choice.
  • How much does it cost to book Tia Torres?

    Booking fees for Tia Torres, or any other speakers and celebrities, are determined based on a number of factors and may change without notice. Pricing often varies according to the circumstances, including the talent's schedule, market conditions, length of presentation, and the location of the event. Speaker fees listed on this website are intended to serve as a guideline only. In some cases, the actual quote may be above or below the stated range. For the most current fee to hire Tia Torres, please fill out the booking request form or call our office at 1.800.698.2536 to speak with an experienced booking agent.
  • Who is the agent for Tia Torres?

    All American Entertainment has successfully secured celebrity talent like Tia Torres for clients worldwide for more than 15 years. As a full-service talent booking agency, we have access to virtually any speaker or celebrity in the world. Our agents are happy and able to submit an offer to the speaker or celebrity of your choice, letting you benefit from our reputation and long-standing relationships in the industry. Fill out the booking request form or call our office at 1.800.698.2536, and one of our agents will assist you to book Tia Torres for your next private or corporate function.
  • What is a full-service talent booking agency?

    All American Speakers is a "buyers agent" and exclusively represents talent buyers, meeting planners and event professionals, who are looking to secure celebrities and speakers for personal appearances, speaking engagements, corporate entertainment, public relations campaigns, commercials, or endorsements. We do not exclusively represent Tia Torres or claim ourselves as the exclusive booking agency, business manager, publicist, speakers bureau or management for Tia Torres or any other speaker or celebrity on this website. For more information on how we work and what makes us unique, please read the AAE Advantage.

Tia Torres is a keynote speaker and industry expert who speaks on a wide range of topics . The estimated speaking fee range to book Tia Torres for your event is available upon request. Tia Torres generally travels from New Orleans, LA, USA and can be booked for (private) corporate events, personal appearances, keynote speeches, or other performances. Similar motivational celebrity speakers are David Mizejewski, Selenis Leyva, Simon Lovell, Terri Irwin and Cesar Millan. Contact All American Speakers for ratings, reviews, videos and information on scheduling Tia Torres for an upcoming event.

Tia Torres Speaker Videos

  • Tia Torres | Gabriele Philipsen | TEDxPascoCountySchools - YouTube
    Gabriele Philipsen talks about Tia Torres. 4th grader from Centennial Elementary School. This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED ...
    Tia Torres Was Raised with Wolves | Pit Bulls and Parolees - YouTube
    Tia explains how her experience growing up with wolves taught her so much about canine behavior. She then shows a pair of adopters where ...
  • The Amazing Tia Torres Talks Pit Bulls with Ellen - YouTube
    Today Ellen welcomed Tia Torres to the show to talk about her amazing work at the Villalobos Rescue Center. She rescues pit bulls from ...

Tia Torres News

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Speakers Similar to Tia Torres

This website is a resource for event professionals and strives to provide the most comprehensive catalog of thought leaders and industry experts to consider for speaking engagements. A listing or profile on this website does not imply an agency affiliation or endorsement by the talent.

All American Entertainment (AAE) exclusively represents the interests of talent buyers, and does not claim to be the agency or management for any speaker or artist on this site. AAE is a talent booking agency for paid events only. We do not handle requests for donation of time or media requests for interviews, and cannot provide celebrity contact information.

If you are the talent, and wish to request removal from this catalog or report an issue with your profile, please click here.

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