JUNE 2, 2016 UPDATE: The rape charges have been dropped against Toney Converse. The civil suit, however, is still pending.
Four years ago, the Villalobos Rescue Center (VRC), featured on Animal Planet’s “Pit Bulls and Parolees,” moved from Southern California to New Orleans, mostly because of the opposition it faced at its original location.
As I wrote at the time in a story for i Love Dogs (that happened to be briefly featured in the “Pit Bulls and Parolees” episode, “New Orleans, Here We Come”), Kern County officials denied a request by Tia Torres, owner of the rescue and rehabilitation facility, to move VRC from Agua Dulce to Tehachapi, Calif.
So Torres packed up the dogs and relocated VRC to a former warehouse in New Orleans, where things have gone more smoothly. The shelter even survived natural disasters, including Hurricane Isaac in 2012.
But VRC may now be facing one of its biggest challenges ever. A lawsuit filed June 13 by Jennifer Stampfel claims that Toney Converse, one of the parolees featured on the reality show, “drugged her, raped her twice, stole her virginity, transmitted an STD to her, impregnated (her) and threatened to kill her,” according to the New Orleans Advocate.
Stampfel, a seminary student from Pittsburgh, Pa., wanted her name to be made public to “bring awareness to the situation,” her attorney, Charles Marshall III, told news sources.
In addition to Converse, Stampfel is suing Torres, VRC, Tahyo Tavern (a bar owned by Torres) and 44 Blue, the production company for “Pit Bulls and Parolees,” all for failure to supervise the former Tulane Green Wave running back who served more than eight years of an 18-year sentence from a 2002 drug conviction.
According to the Times-Picayune, Stampfel wants a trial by jury as well as general and special damages for pain and suffering, mental anguish and emotional distress. The lawsuit does not mention a dollar amount.
Table des matières
- Stampfel’s ‘Disgusting, Defamatory’ Allegations
- Two Satellite VRC Locations to Close, Sanctuary to Open
- Tia Maria Torres Bio
- Who is Tia Maria Torres?
- Age, Parents, Siblings, Family, Ethnicity
- Tia Maria Torres: Career, Awards
- Tia Maria Torres: Net worth, Salary
- Tia Maria Torres: Rumors, Controversy/Scandal
- Body Measurement: Height, Weight, Body Size
- Social Media Profile: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter
- Meet all Tia Maria Torres Kids and Grandchildren. Tia Torres Son Dies.
- Tia Maria Torres Children.
- Keli’i Chock.
- Tia Torres Daughter Mariah Torres.
- Tia Maria Torres Grandchildren.
- Tia Maria Torres Son Dies. Fact or Fake?
- Tia Torres
- Villalobos Rescue Center in Danger of Closing – Show support by signing please
Stampfel’s ‘Disgusting, Defamatory’ Allegations
In the lawsuit, Stampfel said she first met Converse in April 2014, when she was visiting New Orleans and stopped by VRC. She returned to the city two months later to attend the Summer Hebrew Institute at the New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary.
While she and Converse were at Tahyo Tavern, a bar owned by Torres, Stampfel says Converse drugged her soda, and later raped her at the house where he was living. She reported the rape 14 days later, after finding out she was pregnant.
Stampfel then signed up for VRC’s Bully Boot Camp program for the purpose of confronting Converse about the rape and telling Torres, according to the lawsuit. In August, while confronting Converse at the same house where the rape had allegedly occurred, Stampfel said he again sexually assaulted her.
Converse’s attorneys told the New Orleans Advocate that Stampfel’s allegations were “disgusting, defamatory.” Converse insists the sex was consensual and plans to countersue for defamation.
Torres also said she will file a countersuit. “The true and innocent victims here are the dogs of Villalobos Rescue Center,” she said in a statement.
“What did they ever do to her that warrants taking away the donations used to feed them, house them, treat them for deadly heartworm disease and ultimately get them to a new home? What kind of person wants to be responsible for causing irreparable damage to hundreds…no, thousands of homeless dogs?”
I’m with Torres. If Stampfel’s allegations are true, I don’t understand why — and think it’s very unfortunate — that she is including VRC in her lawsuit. The rescue had no direct involvement with the two incidents. Suing VRC just creates more victims.
Two Satellite VRC Locations to Close, Sanctuary to Open
“This horrific lawsuit is not only draining us emotionally and physically, but financially,” VRC wrote in a news release today. “So with much thought, we have decided to close down two of our main satellite locations and consolidate the dogs onto a property that we have been given out in a rural country environment of Louisiana.”
The new site will become the Villalobos Sanctuary.
“Although it will take quite a bit of time to get things settled in and built, this is a project we need to begin immediately if we are to get through these difficult times,” VRC wrote, adding that the project could begin to be organized as early as next week.
“In so many ways having a TV show can have its perks, but in other ways he can bring out the ‘ugly’ in some people,” VRC wrote.
“And the saddest part of all is that we as humans will move on and survive, but our dogs will not.”
The Villalobos Rescue Sanctuary Fund raised over $137,000 as of September 2019.
A new season of “Pit Bulls and Parolees” premieres on Animal Planet Jan. 4, 2020.
Tia Maria Torres Bio
Who is Tia Maria Torres?
Tia Maria Torres is a television personality and reality star who hails from America. She earned a lot of attention and recognition for her appearances in American reality television series, Pit Bulls & Parolees. Also, she is the founder of Villalobos Rescue Center, which gives shelter to pit bulls.
Moreover, she is responsible for carrying out the largest, most successful Pit Bull rescue in the US. Currently, it involves the rescue mission for all dog breeds all over the country.
Age, Parents, Siblings, Family, Ethnicity
Talking about her early life, Tia Maria Torres was born on June 11, 1960, in Southern California, U.S.
Unfortunately, she spent her early life not knowing who her biological parents were. So, there is no information about her actual mother, father, and ethnicity. She belongs to American nationality.
Luckily, her stepmother became her caretaker and family. From her childhood days, she developed her fondness for four-legged animals. She used to adopt dogs and stray cats from her neighborhood. Her stepmother supported her activities to help animals.
Tia Maria Torres left her home at the young age of 17 and entirely focused on helping animals.
Despite her fame, there is not much to talk about her education and qualifications. She dedicated her entire time to helping vulnerable animals.
Tia Maria Torres: Career, Awards
After she had left her home, she decided to help animals as well as troubled people. Later on, with the hope of contributing to aid people, she joined the army.
After she had got out, she met a pit bull named, Tatanka in an animal shelter. She then adopted her and became an integral part of her life.
With her, she founded Villalobos Rescue Center to carry out the biggest pitbull rescue facility and mission all over the US. Likewise, she started obedience classes, medical services, and training seminars to train pit bulls.
Later on, she starred on the reality series Pit Bulls & Parolees airing on Animal Planet in 2009. Afterward, she relocated her foundation to New Orleans, Louisiana.
Tia Maria Torres: Net worth, Salary
Moreover, she has accumulated a lot of income from the show and her foundation. Thus, she has a net worth of $300 thousand but her salary is unknown.
Tia Maria Torres: Rumors, Controversy/Scandal
Talking about the rumors and controversy, In 2007, her husband Aren Marcus Jackson was arrested in September 2007 in accusation of theft of a vehicle and property and 11 felonies.
Moreover, there were rumors that he was also a drug addict and physically abusive to Tia. However, that rumor is still not confirmed as she is still fighting for her husband’s release from prison.
Body Measurement: Height, Weight, Body Size
Tia Maria Torres has an average body structure standing 6 feet and 1 inch (73.2 inches). She has red hair and dark brown eyes. However, there is no information regarding her exact body measurements, shoe size, and dress size.
Social Media Profile: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter
Tia Maria Torres is active in various sorts of social media like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. She has more than 83k followers on Instagram, has more than 828k followers on Facebook and 1.5k followers on the Twitter account.
the early life, career, net worth, relationships, and controversies of Vico C, Monica Raymund, Brendan Fitzpatrick, Morgan Stewart
Meet all Tia Maria Torres Kids and Grandchildren. Tia Torres Son Dies.
Tia Maria Torres is an American entrepreneur, author, and television personality. She set up and runs the Villalobos Rescue Center, which is recognized as one of the largest dog centers in the country.
Tia also has a starring role in the popular series, Pit Bulls & Parolees, which has gained her national fame. This review will, however, focus on her Kids and grandchildren, taking a look at their biographies.
We will also examine the rumors that suggest that Tia Torres son died. Are they true? Find out right here in the following chapters.
Tia Maria Torres Children.
Kanani Chock is the 32-year-old adopted son of Tia Maria Torres. He came into this world from the 20th of April 1987. Kanani and his twin brother, who was adopted alongside, are both natives of the state of Hawaii.
Like his adopted mother, Tia Maria, Kanani also works at the Villalobos Rescue Center and is a television personality on Pit Bulls & Parolees. He has made several appearances on the reality show.
Also, Kanani also has broad interests in music. Both Kanani and his twin brother have played multiple musical instruments on the show they star on.
Another one of Kanani’s interests is stunt work, which he does on his street bike. His career exploits have brought him a net worth, which stands at $ 500,000 at the moment.
Back in 2013, Tia Torres’ kid, Kanani started a relationship with a woman named Mariah. Presently, they are married and have a son together. Mariah also works at the animal center, which Tia Maria Torres founded.
Keli’i Chock is the 32-year-old twin brother of Kanani Chock. He was born on April 20th, 1987, in Hawaii, where he and his brother spent most of their childhood before being adopted by Tia Maria Torres.
Like the rest of his family, Keli’l also works at the Rescue Center and stars on his mother’s hit reality show. He also makes music alongside his twin brother, and the pair also share a passion for bike riding.
While Keli’l and Kanani are genetically similar, they could not be further apart in regards to personality. Keli’l is much more reserved, whereas his brother is outgoing. He is married to a woman named Lizzy, with whom he shares a son. Nakoa is two years old at the moment, having come into this world back in 2017.
She is the biological daughter of Tia Maria Torres. Her father was a gang member who lost his life as a result of paralysis. Tania was born on the 6th of May 1985, which would make her 34 years old currently.
Much like the rest of her family, Tania has a passion for rescuing dogs, which is on full display on the reality show, Pit Bulls & Parolees. She also works at the Villalobos Rescue Center alongside the rest of her family.
Beforehand, she dabbled with life in film, working as an assistant before eventually getting a chance to star on a few titles of her own.
These include films such as Candid Conversations and Face to Face.
Tania is married to a man named Perry Sanchez. He was born in Westwego and presently works at the rescue center alongside his wife and in-laws. The two tied the knot back in 2016, where Tania shocked the guests by turning up in a black wedding dress.
Then again, anyone who was familiar with her personality and all the tattoos that graced her body wouldn’t have been surprised. Her daughter, Salem-Wolf, was born a year later. Presently, the family resides in New Orleans.
Tia Torres Daughter Mariah Torres.
She is the youngest kid of Tia Maria Torres. Mariah is not only a television personality but also a former model. She has been featuring on beauty pageants from the moment she turned 10.
Presently, however, Mariah lends a hand at her mother’s dog rescue center. This is the Villalobos Rescue Center, whose management she plays a vital role in.
She is also a star on the Animal Planet, featuring on the hit show, Pit Bulls & Parolees, ever since she was a child. Mariah Torres was born on the 6th of September 1991.
This would make Tia Torres’s youngest kid, Mariah Torres 28 years old as of 2019. She is also fairly active on social media platforms such as Instagram, where she shares numerous pictures and has accumulated a massive following.
Tia Maria Torres Grandchildren.
The television personality has three grandchildren in total. One of them is a son from her adopted child Kanani. His twin brother Keli’l also has a son, Nakoa, who is two years old at the moment.
He came into this world back in 2017. Tia Maria also has a granddaughter named Salem-Wolf, who is also two years old presently. She is the daughter of Tania Torres.
Tia Maria Torres Son Dies. Fact or Fake?
Get in touch with Tia Torres and the Villalobos Rescue Center by e-mail at [email protected]
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.
Villalobos Rescue Center (VRC) in New Orleans, Louisiana – the rescue behind the hit television show Pit Bulls & Parolees – held its last public tour on June 11, 2016. The rescue itself, along with its retail shop and bar, are still very much in operation.
On June 8th, a visitor confronted founder Tia Torres and Joe, a parolee, over a dog that was in the care of VRC that she claimed was hers. When asked when this woman’s dog went missing, she responded about two years ago. At that point, Tia and Joe knew that the dog in question, Beatrice, wasn’t this woman’s as Beatrice is approximately eight–months old.
Tia tried to explain this to the woman but that’s when the trouble began. Sharing on VRC’s Facebook page, Tia wrote:
The more I kept trying to explain this, the more combative she became. So Joe (our parolee), Beatrice (the dog) and myself walked away to avoid any confrontation. The woman then yelled out, ‘I’m going to ‘f’n’ (she said the entire word) kill this b*****!’ I kept walking until …….I heard my other employees start screaming my name.
Tia’s employees’ cause for concern was very real as this woman had gotten in her minivan and was driving directly towards Tia, who is currently on crutches (unrelated to the incident in question).
Speaking to WDSU in an interview, Tia relayed the incident and the quick thinking of her staff.
She went around behind me and then came around behind me and I just kept backing up backwards to get away from her. All my employees started coming out and chasing her and yelling at her, trying to look for things to throw at her, taking pictures and it was enough to scare her off.
According to the interview, the woman was only about 20 feet away from Tia when one of her staff threw a coffee on the windshield of the minivan, causing her to swerve. Tia relays the incident more in-depth on VRC’s Facebook page, and it’s even more frightening than the news interview.
After one of Tia’s employees threw the coffee, the woman “quickly re-gained control of her vehicle and caught up to and began to circle as tried to get out of the way.” Ultimately, it was Tia’s staff taking photos of the woman’s vehicle that saved Tia’s life.
Due to this incident, VRC made the decision to no longer give public tours. According to Tia:
Yes I know…..this is insane. But more bothersome is that it has pushed past simply being ‘crazy’ part has now moved into being flat out dangerous for my family, my workers and the dogs. And because of all of these reasons, we will be halting all public tours to the facility.
Information and photos from this incident, including the woman’s license plate, have been shared with the New Orleans Police Department.
Tia has said that she has previously had people call VRC and threaten her because they think VRC has their dog but has never had a physical and potentially dangerous confrontation like this one.
As far as VRC possibly having a lost dog, Tia always has the same message.
I hope we do have your dog because we want our dogs to go back to their owners. We don’t want to keep your dog!
VRC can be followed on Facebook. To help support VRC’s mission of rescue and rehabilitation, you may donate here.
Featured image via WDSU & Villalobos Rescue Center/Facebook
For more, check out these articles!
- An Animal Scientist Explains How We Can Help Dogs Who Are Stuck In Shelters Longer Than Others
- How America’s Dog Became Public Enemy #1 – And Why They’re Making Such A Comeback
- Study: These Are The 10 Most Common Dog Breeds Found In Shelters
- Finally, There’s A List Of Rentals Across The Country Where Your Pit Bull Is Welcome
- Abandoned Pit Bull Mom And Her Puppies Saved By Rescuers
Villalobos Rescue Center in Danger of Closing – Show support by signing please
Villalobos Rescue Center in Danger of Closing
VILLALOBOS RESCUE CENTER IN JEOPARDY OF CLOSING ITS DOORS.
As most of you know, we are in the process of building a new paradise up in the quaint little town of Tehachapi. Known for its adorable antique stores and that awesome « choo choo » train, it was the country living that was so appealing. So to move my program up into the secluded mountains, felt just right.
Never in my dreams would I think that such an angry and hateful woman co-existed there. I’ve never met this woman and yet a few days ago she sent out the attached letter. In it she accuses me of « stealing government money » and basically compares me to the likes of the people involved in the Diane Whipple mauling.
Never once did she ask me or come to me with concerns as some of the other nice folk up there have. How sad is it that she complains about the conditions of their dirt roads being destroyed, when I offered to cover ALL EXPENSES so as not to have the local residents have the upkeep come out of their pockets anymore. This woman lives nowhere near the new place yet she, for some reason wants to shut down an organization that helps men and women get on the right track to life, counsels troubled youth, has Girl and Boy Scouts visit on a regular basis and was willing to become the « unofficial » Tehachapi Animal Shelter and handle the stray dog population while attempting to find any « lost owners. We had also set up a « Rewards Program » that we were willing to share with the local businesses, that would’ve given them more income and also bring in more donations for us.
I don’t know why this woman is doing this, but if she is successful in her angry quest, we will not be able to operate as a rescue any longer. We are doing everything by the book by applying for the proper permits, etc. We have our county hearing on March 10th, 7:00 p.m. in Bakersfield. If you would like to send a letter/email of support or even show up, please email us at:[email protected] and we’ll send out more information. Your letters have to be received by Feb. 22nd. Please be polite and professional in your response. Remember this is not an issue with the county.
In addition to all of the above, at this time Villalobos will have to partially suspend many of its services because we have to now focus on combatting this issue. Phone calls and emails will go unanswered for a period of time or at least until we can deal with all of this.
This battle is being fueled by this woman (letter attached) and again, not any county entities. We appreciate any and all support. Many lives depend on it. We will no longer be able to save more dogs or continue our free spay/neuter program if she succeeds in her vicious war with us. To even think about all those dogs having to be homeless once again is just heartbreaking. Of course to think of a human being so heartless is even worse.