One of the most touching shows ever is Pit Bulls & Parolees, where the Torres family brings parolees to their shelter, the Villalobos Rescue Center, to work with the dogs and help re-home or train them. It’s not a bad way of life — plus, it seems like the family of Tia Torres, the founder of the shelter, has been earning a pretty penny. Rescuing pit bulls and becoming a reality star has its perks.
The whole family has profited from the show and while the money is good, fans really connect to Mariah, sister Tania, and her twin brothers Kanani and Moe. In addition to starring on the show, Mariah is sort of an Instagram influencer, posting gorgeous shots of herself and her pups for her 100,000-plus followers, or teaming up with pit bull-focused organizations to help raise money for them.
Mariah helped move the center from California to New Orleans in 2011 due to “economic reasons,” according to the center’s website. And they have a ton of bills to pay, since it is a non-profit. They take in about 40-50 dogs a month and adopt the same amount, but not without a lot of overhead. The website reports, “The cost per day to run VRC varies, but it averages $10,000. That’s $70K a week, $280,000 a month…approximately $4 million a year to run the rescue.” Still, it looks like she’s been able to save some money given the popularity of her family’s Animal Planet show.
Mariah's mom started the show because they were broke
According to Idol Net Worth, Mariah Torres is worth about $300,000 — and her mother has about the same, per the same outlet. So, things aren’t going all that bad for them, even if running the shelter costs millions of dollars. In fact, the reality show helped save them once upon a time, according to Tia Torres, who opened the center in the ’90s. She told Reality Blurred, “We were on the verge of going broke and it came down to survival. A lot of reality people, they want to become actors — we needed to eat. My kids and I literally were [getting] donated food for us to eat, from churches and whatnot, so we were getting ready to close down the rescue. I said, ‘We’re going to have to do this.'”
She added in the same interview that her kids would initially look forward to filming days so they could eat the catering from the production company. In addition, Animal Planet helped to cover some vet bills and dog food. “There was almost no TV show because we had nothing. All my bank accounts were overdrawn,” Tia said. So the family really has come a long way, Mariah included.
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