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Stamford Dogs Named In Honor Of Taylor Swift To Compete In Puppy Bowl

STAMFORD, CT — Three rescue dogs from Stamford’s Lucky Dog Refuge will soon enter their Puppy Bowl Era.

Rebekah, Inez and Betty, named after characters in some of Taylor Swift’s hit songs, will compete for the “Lombarky Trophy” in Puppy Bowl XX. 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.

The Stamford pooches, which have all been adopted in recent weeks, are among 12 puppies from Connecticut that will be featured in Puppy Bowl XX.

Find out what’s happening in Stamfordwith free, real-time updates from Patch.

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.

Find out what’s happening in Stamfordwith free, real-time updates from Patch.

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.

Inez, who is on Team Fluff, is an Australian Cattle Dog/Poodle mix. She was adopted one day after taping the Puppy Bowl, according to Lucky Dog Refuge, and lives in Stamford.

Inez’s sister, Betty, will be on Team Ruff. She stayed a bit longer at Lucky Dog Refuge after coming to Connecticut but found her forever home in December.

Both dogs were pulled from a pound in Mississippi by local rescuers before they came to Connecticut. They’re named after characters mentioned in the Swift song “Betty.”

“Her name is still Betty — we’re big Taylor Swift fans in this house so we couldn’t change the name,” her family said in a news release from Lucy Dog Refuge.

Rebekah is a German Shepherd/Neopolitan Mastiff mix, and on Team Ruff.

Named after a character mentioned in Swift’s “The Last Great American Dynasty,” Rebekah, who has since been renamed Poppy by her forever family, was originally found in Mississippi as a puppy just a few weeks after suffering a femoral fracture that needed extensive surgery.

As the game on Feb. 11 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.

Audiences can follow the conversation on social media with #PuppyBowl, and follow Animal Planet on Facebook, X, Instagram, and TikTok, as well as Puppy Bowl on Facebook for more updates.


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