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Pit bulls are eager to please, faithful and enthusiastic friends and pleasant with children according to credible canine organizations. Really, it's true. Yet, the public largely associates these dogs with fear, danger and unyielding aggression toward people.

Pit bulls actually were once ranked among American's top five favorite pets and were also known as the "nanny dog" for their gentleness with children. But they have fallen from grace. Now often associated with gang members, dog fighting and attacks, pit bulls are misunderstood, misjudged and under-appreciated. Their bad rap stems from many misconceptions -- the biggest is that they are "killer" dogs that pose a threat to society. While most dogs are known as man's best friend, people have lost hope for the pit bull.

Time for that to change. Animal Planet introduces you to this breed's greatest ally -- she's fiery and she's determined to end the needless hostility toward pit bulls. Meet Tia Torres-- mother, top pit bull trainer and founder and owner Villalobos Rescue Center -- the country's largest rescue facility for pit bulls. In Pit Bulls and Parolees, Torres is dead set on fighting the perception that pit bulls are the pariahs of the dog world and giving the ones in her care the love they deserve.

At her center, outside of New Orleans, La., Torres rescues, rehabilitates and retrains more than 400 pit bulls, so they can be placed in good homes. And she pairs those misunderstood animals with a half-dozen ex-convicts on parole to provide both man and man's best friend a chance at redemption.

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