CONNECTICUT — Dogs from seven Connecticut shelters will get a chance at adoption in the cutest sports rivalry on TV, Animal Planet’s 20th annual Puppy Bowl on Feb. 11, Super Bowl Sunday.
Here are some of the dogs that will proudly represent the Nutmeg State in Puppy Bowl XX along with the shelters associated with each pup:
A total of 14 dogs from seven shelters in Connecticut will be part of the Puppy Bowl. The three-hour program will be simulcast on Animal Planet, Discovery, TBS, truTV, Max and discovery+ at 2 p.m. Eastern Time on Feb. 11.
Leading up to the Puppy Bowl and after it airs, Warner Bros Discovery, Animal Planet’s parent, is partnering with Best Friends Animal Society, a leading national animal welfare organization, to help the animals find loving homes. The organization will match donations to cover adoption fees for their pet lifesaving centers nationwide from Feb. 7-14. To adopt an animal, text PUPPY to 707070 or head to PuppyBowl.com/donate to double your impact or find a shelter near you.
Puppy Bowl organizers say this is the biggest year yet for the Puppy Bowl, which features 131 puppies from 76 shelters and rescue groups in 36 states and territories. Adoption is the ultimate goal of the Puppy Bowl, a raucous competition between Team Ruff and Team Fluff.
The all-important “Adoptable Pet” segment features puppies — and a few kittens — from 14 shelters and rescues across the country. They’ll be introduced by country singer Miranda Lambert, whose nonprofit MuttNation will feature a senior dog seeking a forever home.
With the “Lombarky” trophy and MVP (most valuable puppy) award at stake, the program is rife with Super Bowl puns. An Underdog Award will be awarded, too. To celebrate 20 years of the game, four previous Puppy Bowl players return to be inducted into the all-new Puppy Bowl Hall of Fame.
The competition kicks off with the starting lineup for teams. They include Dash, a Pomeranian/pug, and Maggie, a chow chow/American Staffordshire terrier representing the U.S. Virgin Islands for the first time, who are leading Team Fluff.
Starters from Connecticut include London, a boxer/American staffordshire terrier from the Connecticut Humane Society in Newington on Team Fluff and Greyson, a Siberian husky / Great Pyrenees from Pack Leaders of CT in East Hartford.
Tater, an Australian cattle dog/German shepherd, and Peanut Pretzel, a pug from Los Angeles, will look to bring Team Ruff to victory. As the game progresses, it will be revealed which puppies take home the MVP and Underdog trophies.
Some of the other puppies that will be highlighted include Sweetpea from Bosley’s Place in Smyrna, Georgia, the smallest puppy at 1.7 pounds, and Levi, a 72-pound Great Dane at Green Dogs Unleashed in Troy, Virginia.
Six special needs puppy players will also be introduced, including Riddle, a pug terrier who suffers from the neurological condition cerebellar hypoplasia; Mr. Bean, a papillon who only has his two hind legs; and four pups who don’t let their deafness slow them down on the gridiron.
Also, “Pup Close and Personal” segments will share some of the all-star athletes’ backstories. Featured will be Baltimore Ravens’ Ronnie Stanley’s rescue foundation which trains dogs, including hound Linus, to support people with special needs; and Beignet, a New Orleans dachshund, who gets a nose-to-tail makeover before the big game.
Puppy Bowl referee Dan Schachner returns for his 13th year and for the first time, will have a puppy assistant coach, Whistle, who helps him call the plays and fumbles.
Underscoring the 20th anniversary of the Puppy Bowl — and that puppies rule — the producers are making it more adorable by putting pups behind the camera, in the control room and in other poses to show that puppies are in control of the production.
The Puppy Bowl begins with a pregame show at 1 p.m. Eastern Time on Animal Planet that goes behind-the-scenes on the Puppy Bowl draft with exclusive interviews with coaches and players on topics such as how DNA testing helped determine the top players, a preview of the Kitty Halftime Show, and a check-in with Bissell Pet Foundation’s rescue mission.