• 66°

Pit Bulls and Parolees working to find a home for unusual pair of dogs

HELPING HAND: Tia Torres from the Animal Planet television show Pit Bulls and Parolees stopped in to the Pearl River County SPCA Saturday to help place an unusual bonded pair of dogs in a loving home. She also intends to help find homes for many of the other dogs at the shelter. Photo by Jeremy Pittari

HELPING HAND: Tia Torres from the Animal Planet television show Pit Bulls and Parolees stopped in to the Pearl River County SPCA Saturday to help place an unusual bonded pair of dogs in a loving home. She also intends to help find homes for many of the other dogs at the shelter.
Photo by Jeremy Pittari

Cast and crew from the Animal Planet television show Pit Bulls and Parolees made a visit to the Pearl River County’s SPCA Saturday to lend a helping hand.
Cast member and Villalobos Rescue Center owner Tia Torres said she and the rest of the cast and crew came to Picayune to help find a home for an unusual bonded pair of dogs surrendered to the shelter. PRCSPCA Director Judy Wheaton said the pair entails a 2-year-old pit bull and a 4-year-old poodle, an unlikely combination for dog owners. Wheaton said the dogs were surrendered to the shelter by an elderly couple who could no longer care for them due to medical issues.
Both dogs are pure bred, spayed and neutered and were well cared for by the previous owners, Wheaton said.
Torres said most poodle owners do not house pit bulls, and most pit bull owners do not house poodles.
Adopting out a bonded pair is difficult enough, but when you have an unlikely combination such as this, the process becomes more difficult, Torres said. To help, she will get in touch with other shelters and rescues across the nation to help find the bonded pair a proper home.
Torres and her crew also have plans to help find homes for other dogs at the local shelter due to the recent population boom that occurred after the arrest of 57-year-old Lynne Hackney and her husband, 56-year-old Miles Allen, for various animal neglect offenses.
That addition of more than 60 dogs has over crowded the shelter over the past several weeks. Because of that influx animals that were already at the shelter need to find new homes. That’s where Torres’ help will come in, she said.
Currently Torres’ New Orleans shelter houses more than 400 dogs. While her shelter deals primarily with pit bulls, Torres said those nationwide contacts will help find homes for the other breeds at the Picayune shelter.
Torres was pleasantly surprised with how Picayune’s shelter is run. Originally from west coast California, Torres said she had misconceptions of how shelters are run in rural areas. But Torres found the stereotype does not apply in Picayune.
“There are so many great volunteers and a great system here,” Torres said.
As for the case against Hackney, Lt. Joe Quave with the Pearl River County Sheriff’s Department said she has filed her appeal on a court decision that granted custody of the dogs to the PRCSPCA for 14 days.
If the court grants permanent custody to the shelter, Wheaton said the cattle dogs will be spayed and neutered, which will diminish Hackney’s desire for them for her breeding business.
But the overcrowded condition of the shelter is creating an issue. When dogs are stressed due to over crowded conditions they are more prone to disease, Wheaton said.