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Off Leash: Big Dogs, Little People

New show on Animal Planet aims to dispel stereotypes of pit bulls, short-statured folk

Animal rescue reality shows are nothing new. Animal Cops and Animal Precinct have been popular staples of Animal Planet programming for years now.

And last fall saw the addition of two new entries in this category: National Geographic Channel’s Rescue Ink, about a bunch of heavily tattooed bikers whose mission is to protect abused animals in the New York City area (profiled in Animal Sheltering in Nov-Dec 2008); and Pit Bulls and Parolees, in which a top pit bull trainer pairs dogs from her rescue with half a dozen ex-convicts on parole, “to provide both man and man’s best friend a chance at redemption,” according to the show’s website.

But Shorty Rossi is convinced that his animal rescue reality show—Pit Boss, which premiered Jan. 16 on the Discovery Channel’s Animal Planet—represents a new wrinkle in the genre, offering viewers something new and different.

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