Meet Tia Torres, the woman who has dedicated her life to saving the most misunderstood and maligned breed of dogs: pit bulls. She is the founder and owner of Villalobos Rescue Center, the largest pit bull sanctuary in the world, where she and her team rescue, rehabilitate and rehome hundreds of dogs every year. She is also the star of the hit reality TV show Pit Bulls & Parolees, which showcases her work and her family.
But Tia’s family is not your typical one. She was married to Aren Jackson, a former gang member who is currently behind bars for a controversial conviction. She has four children: two biological daughters who share her love of animals, and two adopted sons who are of Hawaiian descent. She also employs parolees who struggle to find acceptance and redemption in society.
It is easy to say Tia Torres is a woman of courage, compassion, and conviction. She has faced many trials and tribulations in her life, but she has never given up on her dreams and her mission. She has shown the world that pit bulls are not monsters, but loyal and loving companions. She has shown the world that parolees are not hopeless, but capable and deserving of a new start. She has shown the world that family is not defined by blood but by bond.
Tia Torres was born on June 11, 1960, in California, U.S. Her biological mother’s and father’s identities are unknown. She hadno father figure in her life and grew up in a broken home and experienced a difficult upbringing. She longed for a family of her own and began to take in neighborhood dogs and stray cats at an early age. She was raised by her stepmother, whom she calls “mom”, who shared her love of animals and taught her strength and discipline. Together, they struggled to keep the family, which included horses and other animals, united.
At the age of 17, Tia left home with her entourage of pets, including two Arabian horses, an Angora goat, and a Catahoula Leopard Dog named Cougar. She moved from place to place, sometimes sleeping in her van or horse trailer. Also, she joined a gang when because they were wearing zoot suits, which she liked. However, she was able to turn the corner around. She enlisted in the Army and became a truck driver. After completing her service, she was hired by the City of Los Angeles as a youth gang counselor. She worked with troubled teens who walked a fine line between the law and breaking it.
Career & Progression
Tia Torres has had a diverse and remarkable career path starting as a truck driver in the Army, becoming a youth gang counselor in Los Angeles, and then rescuing animals to a reality television show dedicated to her.
Villalobos Rescue Center:
Tia Torres was the contracted dog trainer for the City of Los Angeles Animal Services for 11 years and the experience go on to serve in her mission as an animal rescuer. She founded Villalobos Rescue Center in the 1990s in California as a wolf and wolf hybrid rescue. There was a reason she chose to rescue particularly the wolf and wolf hybrid breed. She was givenher first wolf dog by one of her absentee relatives who dumped his wolf/dog mix on her doorstep because “he wasn’t a good guard dog”. The dog was a snow-white beast named Cujo. Tia fell in love with him and began rescuing other wolf dogs that were abandoned or mistreated by their owners. She named her rescue center Villalobos, which means “village of wolves” in Spanish.
She started to rescue pit bulls after she adopted a brindle female pit bull named Tatanka from a Los Angeles animal shelter. She realized that these dogs were misunderstood and mistreated by society and needed her help. She also hired parolees to help her with the dogs and give them a second chance at life.
In 2010, Tia moved the rescue center from California to Louisiana, due to financial and legal issues. She used moving trucks, a motor home, and a school bus to transport over 200 dogs across the country. She settled in New Orleans, where she continues to run the rescue center with the help of her family and staff.
Tia was initially opposed to doing a television show. However as she had to cover a monthly $25,000 expense of VRC and wasn’t receiving enough donations, Tia eventually accepted the proposal for the reality TV show. Over the years the cost of operating the center grew and according to data released on Villalobos Rescue Center’s official website, the average cost per day to run VRC is $10,000 with approximately $4 million a year.
Tia Torres joined the reality TV show Pit Bulls & Parolees, since its inception in 2009. The show follows her work at Villalobos Rescue Center, the largest pit bull rescue facility in the United States, where she and her staff rehabilitate and rehome abused and abandoned dogs. The show also features her family and her work with parolees who help her with the dogs.
Tia Torres has appeared in every episode of Pit Bulls & Parolees so far, which amounts to 203 episodes as of November 2022. Shas also appeared as a guest on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart in 2014, where she talked about her rescue center and her book My Life Among the Underdogs: A Memoir. She also appeared in the spin-off called Pit Bulls & Parolees: Tia’s Tales, which features stories and photos from her show and her rescue center.
Tia Torres’ main source of income is her career as a media personality. She also earns money from her book, My Life Among the Underdogs: A Memoir. As of 2023, Tia has an estimated net worth of $1M.
Social media Presence:
Tia Torres has a moderate social media presence. She has an official Facebook page with over 880,000 followers. She posts updates about her rescue center, her TV show, her books, and her personal life. She has a youtube channel with over 40,000 subscribers. She uploads videos of her new web series, behind the scenes footage, and other content related to her work and family. She does not have an Instagram account, but her daughters Tania and Mariah do. They share pictures of their dogs, their travels, their hobbies, and their mother. There is also an Instagram account for the Pit Bulls & Parolees show with over 82,000 followers. Tia also has a Twitter account with under 2,000 followers, but she rarely tweets. She mostly uses it to promote her show and her books.
Marriage and Husbands:
Tia has been married a couple of times. Her first husband was a cocaine addict and used to exploit her under the influence of the substance. She suffered abusive behavior and to escape she lived outside the house on a trailer for some time. It is not known how long the marriage lasted. During her time with her ex, she was also attacked by a rooster only for a Pitbull named Duke to come to her rescue. To commemorate she got a tattoo of the dog’s paw which also replaced the tattoo that used to represent her ex-husband.
Torres then married Aren Marcus Jackson, how the two got together is an interesting story. The couple shared a common interest in dogs. Back in the early 80s, Tia was trying to locate the owner of a dog so that she could take responsibility. She used online tracking and found out the person was Aren Marcus Jackson. At the time Jackson was serving 14 years sentence in California prison for a shootout with Orange County sheriff’s deputies. Despite the fact, he was in prison Toress kept in touch. When Aren was released from Jail in 2006, the two got married on 31st October. Aren also became part of her rescue center and appeared in two episodes of “Pitbulls & Parollee”.
Divorce & Moving on:
Tia’s marriage with Aren was short-lived and subsequently resulted in a divorce. He was arrested again in September of 2007 for the possession of theft property and sentenced to 15 years in Jail. He was arrested and convicted of theft, second-degree burglary, grand theft auto, and attempted murder, among a few. He was convicted of a total of 11 felonies. While Aron returned to jail Tia increasingly found herself busy with her work and decided to break the marriage at some point. She announced on Facebook that she had been divorced for years in July 2018. She also joked about having a spin-off of her show where she finds someone new with the help of her dogs. In the years of togetherness, they did not have any children together. As of 2023, Tia is neither married nor dating anyone.
Tia Torres has four children; two biological daughters and two adopted son. Tania Torres is the eldest daughter and then came Mariah Torres, both have different fathers. Tia adopted twin Hawaiian brothers Kanani and Keli’i (A.k.A Moe) whom she met through her daughter.
What are her children up to?
The philanthropic lady has passed down some of her good heart to her children as well. She is accompanied by her children during rescue and caring for Pitbulls. Tania works as an assistant animal trainer. Her other daughter Mariah is a public speaker and an aspiring fashion designer. Her two sons Kanani and Keli’i had a rough childhood. This big-hearted woman took them as her own. They involve in her organization tending to the dogs. When not working they indulge in bike riding, making paintings, and playing music.
Tia Torres has an average American height with a stature of 5 feet 5 inches. She has a normal body weight of between 114–144 lbs. She has blonde hair and green eye color. She often wears tank tops, jeans, boots and bandanas. She sometimes wears leather jackets, vests or hoodies. She accessorizes with earrings, necklaces, bracelets and rings.
Born and raised in America, Tia Torres is American and her ethnicity is Irish. She shares the traits of intellectual curiosity and verbal communication with other Geminis, her zodiac sign.
Tia Maria Torres
June 11, 1960
California, United States
Television Personality, Founder of Villalobos Rescue Center, Philanthropist
Aren Marcus Jackson (m.2006- d.?)
Mariah Torres, Tania Torres, Kanani Chock, and Keli’i “Moe” Chock