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Pit Boss: Little people tackle big job


With the rescue of pit bulls and other abused and neglected pets having proven a popular reality TV show formula — with everything from burly tattooed guys to prison parolees doing the rescuing — you might be wondering what they’ll think of next.

Turns out they’ve already thought of it, and it’s little people.

“Pit Boss” premieres January 16, starring Shorty Rossi, who runs a Hollywood talent agency for little people and a pit bull rescue.

The show features Rossi and his fellow little people — including Maryland’s own Ashley Brooks — as they rescue and rehabilitate what the show’s press material points out is a frequently looked down upon breed.

Brooks, 23, who was raised in Elkton, Md., is the receptionist for Shortywood Productions, the company Rossi formed to “manage little people entertainers for all types of shows, private parties and corporate events,” according to a network press release.

Its staff also forms the nucleus of Shorty’s Pit Bull Rescue, which was formed in 2001 and has worked since then to rehabilitate pit bulls — both individual dogs and the breed’s image.

“Pit bulls have a bad rap, though they don’t deserve it at all,” says Rossi. “It’s what people have done to these pits or how they have trained them that caused this horrible misperception. Pit bulls are beautiful and energetic dogs that make wonderful companions and have the ability to bring out the best in just about any one – the elderly, children, the handicapped, and yes… even the little people of this world.”

“Pit Boss” follows Rossi and his crew as they rescue, rehabilitate and find homes for dogs, all while working to fight stereotypes — both those faced by pit bulls and those faced by little people.

The show will air Saturdays at 10 p.m on Animal Planet.

Rossi, 35, grew up in Los Angeles, and pit bulls have been part of his life since 14. He left home by the age of 15, and by 18 had been involved in a gang-related shooting and convicted of several felonies. He served 10 years in prison, and upon his release turned to entertainment jobs, landing his first role at Universal Studios Hollywood as “Alvin” for an Alvin and the Chipmunks stage show.

Since then, he has appeared in several commercials, dozens of TV shows and worked on several movies. He started his own company in 2000, and formed Shorty’s Pit Bull Rescue the following year.

Here’s a trailer for the show:

(Photo: Courtesy of Animal Planet)


Comment from jwoestendiek
Time January 3, 2010 at 3:28 pm

comment from Kathi Phillips:
Ashley, so good to see you, we’re proud of you, Kathi formerly of On Our Own, Elkton

Comment from sheri
Time August 7, 2010 at 7:23 pm

you and your group have me in tears.
summer of 2008 i was able to go into southern illinois and rescue abandoned and mistreated pits. the city were i lived forced me out so i became unable to do that any more. when i see your dogs i relive the feelings of absolute joy ther is a saying it is not the size of the dog in the fight it is the size of the fight in the dog,,, now i have revised that saying. It is not the size of the man but thesize of the heartin theman. let met ell you something you guys are 10 feet tall in my mind. I admire you so much. with allmy heart i wish I had money to travel and helpout everyone who knows the true heart of the pit bull.
you have my admiration forevery
thanks and if i ever win the lottery i know which charity will get my money. anyway you guys definetly have my respect.

Comment from kelsey
Time August 14, 2010 at 8:29 pm

pepole say that pit’s dont makae good pets but thats becaus thay heard other pepoles opionis. iI talk to pepole and thay sade shorty and hes
(gang) are waysting thar time but dats not ture i love wut u do keep it up and sorry 4 da miss spelling am tired. p.s good luke

Comment from jwoestendiek
Time August 14, 2010 at 9:02 pm

Get some rest, Kelsey. Thanks for the comment.

Comment from Wendy Fisher
Time August 15, 2010 at 4:05 am

Hi I just want to say that you are doing a great thing with the pit’s and it’s not just pit’s it’s breed’s im 29 and I have had a passion for all animals and i worked for a vet for min then i got sick with cancer and i was a single mom.Well I would love to talk to you about some thing’s that are going on in the town i live in i have been taking in pit’s even if they came from a bad back ground and i have trained them and gave them to good loveing home’s Please I need to talk to someone who love’s doing the same thing I do and that is teaching people that it is the owner not the dog and all they need is alot of TCL just like haveing kids ..Thank you for all you have done and keep it up you are making a diff THANK YOU….

Comment from anne chesney
Time August 16, 2010 at 5:38 pm

Just want to tell you that I love you and what you are doing for the pit bull. I love your show!!!!!! I have been bit by a dog(it was NOT a pitbull!) it was a cocker!!! The breed- Cocker, just does not like me, every cocker I go near, wants a taste of me!!!! I use to work for a Vet. and every breed but the cocker — I love, they love me, BUT like I said the COCKER, what can I do? Anne

Comment from Daniel Oleson
Time September 11, 2010 at 8:00 pm

Love the pit boss show have a question ; The city of Pittsville ,Wisconsin is where I Live and they are trying to pass a spring refferenduim to make pit bulls not allowed in my town My pit is very friendly and I just can”t see Rules from uninformed persons making me need to get rid of my baby. can you send me some information I can run in the news paper to let persons learn how loving these dogs are there are several familes in town that have pits and we love our Dogs but the voters will make the differance help use get the message out if you can Thank you for anything

Comment from steve harris
Time September 13, 2010 at 6:05 pm

shorty I think if npeople under stand it is the training not the dog the dogs are verry loyal and want to please. I am from the south south florida we use pit mixes from cow dogs to hog dogs to yard dogs they take care of what they think is theirs you are doing a great job Ive really never seen any one bit who did not deserve it

Comment from tiffany mcmullen
Time September 25, 2010 at 2:17 pm

i just want to tell shorty and everyone there that you guys are awesome, i love your show and what you do for the pits, i am a pit bull owner and have been for alot of years, i have also been a foster home to numerous pits, and wish i could do more, educating people and putting a stop to dog fighting rings is the key in my opinion. keep doing what your doing shorty i have nothing but mad respect for you all !!!

Comment from wandalutz36@yahoo.com
Time September 25, 2010 at 8:53 pm

shorty just sent an e-mail to you folks about my grindoughter and her drawings of her pit bull at age 13 and forgot to add our address. please add to my e-mail to you. it, Antonia Lutz at 4644 West Rovey Ave Glendale ,AZ 85301 thank you again

Comment from Margaret Walters
Time October 23, 2010 at 2:14 pm

Shorty, you are awesome. The work you and your crew does is incredible. I only wish it wasn’t so hard to own a pitbull in todays society. I live in a state where in a certain town here pitbulls are banned. I finally get over my fear of pitbulls because of you Shorty, and I can’t own one in most places here. Go figure!

Comment from Carly
Time November 6, 2010 at 2:52 pm

I really like this show, its nice to see something that gives people a different perspective on the breed. I am a college student fostering a pit (probably end up keeping her lol), and have always loved all dogs. I have a huge problem with the episode I just watched though, where you guys busted a dog fighting ring. You keep saying how stupid it was to endanger your crew, but what about ruining a chance at justice for those dogs? This is a great show but it is blatently irresponsible that Shorty would take justice into his own hands rather than contact the authorities- who could have saved those dogs. Now the people who were fighting them have just scattered, and the dogs will continue to be abused. Shorty seems to have a thing about not wanting to be a snitch, but he needs to look at what is best for the dogs, not his reputation.

Comment from fuzzie
Time March 27, 2011 at 7:33 pm

get your pit bull fixed!

Comment from Lorie Hanson
Time March 28, 2011 at 11:39 am

Hello to te crew!!!!!
I live in maine, I know pretty far away,and noooooooo I am not a farmer stuck in the country milking cows and stuff.I love pitbulls,I have rescued all types of dogs but pits have won my heart.
Shorty I really hope you read this.Today is my B-day and all I really want is this sending you and your staff a big thank you.At one time in my life I was a naughty naughty person who also did time.I was 11 years old when I started down the wide road I was just a little girl trying to make it in this messed up world,I too had 1 very cool dog named BEN,HE WAS MY LIFE.I knew Ben would always protect me and make me feel safe.He was a german shepard not even a pit but he was everything to me.Then I met a very very mean biting machine I think he hated just about everyone….Kinda like I felt about people.Well I fell in love with this Pitbull.His name was King and both these dogs loved me and they were like pups from the same litter.Ben and King lived long happy lives,Hey King bit a cop….the cop said to me well he looked like he wanted to be patted.King was in the back of my pick-up truck with Ben and I was taking them to the lake for a swim and this dude was a person I knew we were talking and like I said he looked at King pure black about 100 lbs and said OH I thought he wanted to be patted.Well thank God I knew this cop or all 3 of us would have been in deep ……….not water lol.Thank you all for what you are doing for the cause of pits and any other dog that might need you.I pray God blesses your socks right off.God bless you all.Shorty,..when things get tough and you get so over welmed….you run to God He will always listen to you yeah shorty I saw the show when you went to one of Gods warriors and you guys talked and even a tear…..when all else fales you Shorty run to OUR HEAVENLY FATHER.

p. s. I will start praying that God helps all of you…..Lorie

Comment from lorraine connelly
Time July 16, 2011 at 11:02 pm