Shorty Rossi was given a second chance in life. Now he’s trying to do the same for some good friends.
As head of Shorty’s Rescue in Los Angeles, the ex-con turned entertainment guru is dedicated to rescuing, rehabilitating and training the most misunderstood of canine breeds: the pit bull.
The action-packed reality series Pit Boss goes behind the scenes at Shorty’s Rescue, following Rossi and his team as they fight to improve the lot of these under-appreciated pooches – “one pit bull at a time.”
For a guy who stands just four feet tall, Shorty Rossi has a pretty big pair of … well, let’s just say he’s not afraid of much. At 15, he was living on his own in South Central L.A. At 18, he was facing charges in connection with a gang-related shooting.
Rossi served 10 years behind bars, and came out of Folsom State Prison with a determination to make something better of his life. Today, he runs Shortywood Productions, an L.A. talent agency for little people. It’s a rewarding business – but there’s something else even closer to his heart.
Rossi has owned pit bulls since he was 14, and feels a special affinity for this loyal, intelligent and loving breed. “Pit bulls were there for me when other people weren’t,” he says.
According to Rossi, pit bulls have unfairly acquired a reputation for aggression and hostility. “They don’t deserve it at all,” he says on his Web site, www.shortywood.com. “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 anyone.”
Pit Boss is a compelling real-life drama that tells the story of Shorty and his team – Ronald, Ashley and Sebastian, all little people like himself – as they struggle to find safe and loving homes for abused, abandoned or neglected pit bulls, and to improve the image of the breed through education and involvement in the community.
It’s a show about fighting stereotypes, standing up for your friends, and searching for redemption. And, sometimes, it’s about the complexities of giving a bath to a dog that’s bigger than you are. “The number one rule,” Ronald says, “is to do it as fast as possible.”