Monday, January 24, 2011

Villalobos Rescue Center

For those of you new to my blog or those who weren't paying attention, I went to the Villalobos Rescue Center to volunteer this past Saturday. Villalobos is the biggest pit bull rescue in the world. They house up to 200 abused, stray and/or abandoned pit bulls. They are also the topic of the reality show Pit Bulls and Parolees.

As of right now (they are soon to relocate to Tehachapi) they are located in the Santa Clarita Valley, in the small rural town of Agua Dulce. Google maps said it would take about 3 hours to get there. So my fellow pit rescue friends and I headed out at about 6 am, after one mandatory stop to Starbucks. We stopped once to get gas (and for me to smoke) and once to get water and use the bathroom (and for me to smoke) and we made it up there in just under 3 hours. It was an easy drive, even through LA.
It was a little chaotic when we got there, people just kinda wandering around trying to figure out how it all works. Many of the volunteers had been there before and offered advice on how it all goes down. They explained the simple rules, the time frame for volunteering, where we could and couldn't go on the property, and then started to bring out the dogs. There were about 40 or so volunteers and everyone ended up walking an average of three dogs. All of the dogs I walked were Katrina rescue dogs. It really choked me up to think about what these dogs had been through in order to get where they are now. (If you aren't aware of the hardship the animals endured during Hurricane Katrina, please watch the documentary "Mine", which is currently in the play instantly section of Netflix).

Looking around watching all the hustle and bustle, you see how real the show featuring them is. Tia runs around on the phone, loading dogs into and out of her car, talking to potential adopters and managing the parolees working on the ranch. Nothing seemed to be beefed up for ratings. It just looked like a typical day in the life of someone who devoted her life to these dogs. They all work so hard. I was there for 5 hours and was so exhausted by the time I left, I cant even imagine doing it day in and day out. Dogs don't know it is Easter, or Christmas, or Labor Day. All they know is they need to be fed, walked and cleaned up after. It is really tough work that I find quite admirable.

I am not a huge fan of some of the language used, or messaged portrayed on some of their advertising, but because I respect what they do, I stand behind their goal. I am so glad I was able to get out there and do this for them, and for me! If it is something you think you might want to do, let me know and I will direct you in the right place. But if you live in San Diego, you might wanna get out there soon before they relocate because that drive could be twice as long!

Adventures at Villalobos

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