This Sunday, February 5th is an exciting day for football fans and puppy lovers alike when Animal Planet blows the whistle on their 13th consecutive year of what is, arguably, the most important sporting event of the entire year – the Puppy Bowl!
For the third year in a row, the puppies will be playing in teams – Team Ruff versus Team Fluff – so fans can root for their favorite team to win the coveted LomBARKey Trophy! Teams feature 78 adorable players from 34 different shelters and animal rescues from 22 different states! 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.
Players’ safety is of the utmost importance on Game Day. A veterinarian along with representatives from the ASPCA and the shelters and rescues providing puppies for the show are on set at all times.
We’re told there’s some other big sporting event happening that day. And, while the Super Bowl may have some fancy new technology on the field this year, they don’t have a water bowl cam, a real live hamster wheel-driven scoreboard, or a Puppy Bowl virtual reality experience that let’s viewers get in on the action through the eyes of dog named Buttons, now do they?
Puppy Bowl XIII also features three special needs pups – Doobert, who’s deaf, Lucky, the 3-legged linebacker, and Winston, who’s both hearing and vision impaired.
And, while the Super Bowl halftime show features Lada Gaga, Puppy Bowl XIII’s celebrations include a Kitten Halftime Show with a special performance from superstar Kitty Gaga and the Chicago Rock Cats performing “Puparazzi”, a sideline cheer squad made up of both rabbits and hamsters, and for the first time ever, team mascots – an owl and a chinchilla.
Fans of Puppy Bowls past will remember the live Tweets from Meep the Bird, now an African gray parrot. And world famous groundhog, Punxsutawney Phil, will be on hand for the coin toss.
Aside from puppy fumbles and terrier touchdowns, the real goal of Puppy Bowl is to bring awareness to animal rescue and adoption. Because the show is filmed months in advance of air time, the puppies featured this Sunday have nearly all found homes – but there are literally hundreds of thousands of dogs in shelters across the country still looking for their forever families.