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'Pit Bulls & Parolees' Season 16 Episode 2 Recap: Tia opts for surgery on emaciated hound, can she save him?

After finding an emaciated hound that had wandered in from the woods and discovering a growth on his paw, Tia has to make a choice that is a gamble on his life
(Animal Planet)
(Animal Planet)

Spoilers for 'Pit Bulls & Parolees' Season 16 Episode 2 'The Toughest Choice'

Running a rescue shelter means to take responsibility for hundreds of dogs, and that often means making some very difficult decisions. After finding an emaciated hound dog that wandered in from the forest, Tia Torres had to make one of the hardest decisions of all - one that could mean the difference between life and death. However, not all choices made at the Villalobos Rescue Center are as difficult, as a pair of potential adopters drop in to give a dog a new home in Pennsylvania.

This episode, Tia made a rare exception to the rule about not accepting rescue dogs from outside the state, as this recently discovered hound dog was in a bad shape, so much so that Tia marveled at the fact that he was still alive. Naming him Roan, for the greyish, spotted color of his fur, he was quickly taken to see local veterinarian Dr Samantha. Beyond the worrying skin allergies, malnourishment and parasites she discovered, there was something a lot more worrying found by Roan's foot, a growth firm enough to be cancerous.

This put Tia in a difficult position, as another pressing issue was that Roan had a severe case of heartworms in his heart and lungs. Operating with anesthesia on a dog with heartworm had a chance of being fatal to him. On the other hand, deworming is a process that takes 2-3 months, during which time the growth on Roan's foot could get worse, and become nearly impossible to operate on. No matter what Tia chose, it was a gamble on Roan's life, something Tia was especially heartbroken by, given how Roan had fought to stay alive as long as he had.

Finally, Tia took Dr Samantha's recommendation to proceed with the surgery. After a tense wait, she received the good news. Not only was the surgery a success, but the growth turned out to be early-stage cancer. With the growth removed, Roan was now cancer-free, and a joyful Tia began the deworming process immediately.

In the meanwhile, prospective adopters Brian and Kim stopped by the Villalobos Rescue Center to find a new dog for themselves. Shown three options, the couple picked a dog named DC (named after the comics), whom they immediately warmed to given how chill DC was as compared to the high energy of the other two dogs. After a little training, Lilly drove DC down to Pennsylvania to his new home, and was pleasantly surprised to find the extent to which the couple had prepared for DC's arrival - there were treats, toys, and entire fence built around the backyard. 

Lily's only worry was that the fence was too low, advising Brian and Kim to keep a watch on DC when he was out in the yard, but aside from that, DC seemed completely at home with Brian and Kim, and Lilly left Pennsylvania completely convinced that she had brought DC to just the right place.

Lastly, Mariah and Toney had their work cut out for them when they found a potentially aggressive, mistreated dog left behind at an abandoned home. After a tense few moments, during which Mariah was unsure as to whether or not the dog would attack her, Mariah let the dog out of the home's fencing and coaxed him into a kennel to bring back to Villalobos. Naming him Azrael, she soon found that after his initial fear, the dog was well-behaved, and more significantly, was heartworm-negative. He is currently available for adoption.

The next episode of 'Pit Bulls & Parolees' airs on August 8 on Animal Planet.