Fun Facts About Puppy Bowl IX! (This Sunday!)

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This Sunday, February 3, is an exciting day for football fans and puppy lovers alike – Puppy Bowl IX! At 3pm ET on Sunday, Animal Planet will blow the whistle on their 9th consecutive year of this adorable puppy sports match.

This year’s Puppy Bowl has no losing team, only 63 adorable winners from 23 different shelters and animal rescues around the country! This year’s celebrations include a Kitten Halftime Show, a perky crew of hedgehog cheerleaders, and a hamster-guided blimp for catching all the on-field action. Fans of Puppy Bowls past will remember the water bowl cam and live Twitter updates from Meep the Bird. New to Puppy Bowl IX are the crowdpleasing “Lipstick Cam” for up-close action straight from the mouths of pups and the new Puppy Hot Tub, where players cool down between their turns on the field.

Aside from puppy fumbles and terrier touchdowns, the real goal of Puppy Bowl is to bring awareness to animal rescue and adoption. Of the 63 puppies featured in this year’s big game, all but 4 have already been adopted, since the show is filmed months in advance of air time. Puppies picked for the big game are chosen from animal shelters around the nation, between 10 and 15 weeks of age, and are sturdy and playful – perfect for the puppy penalties, terrier tackles, and furry first-downs.

Check out what’s new in Puppy Bowl IX in this behind-the-scenes video from Animal Planet below:

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When I adopted my shepherd mix, Molly, from a local shelter 12 years ago, I had no idea the impact she would have on my life. Through Molly, I've learned to be more patient, experienced unconditional love, been alerted to the mailman and every squirrel within a block radius of the house, and ingested enough fur to build 3 or 4 more dogs! When I lost Molly to cancer just a few months ago, I adopted Olive, a 13 week old Golden Retriever. Together, we smile at least a hundred times a day!