Are you ready for Sunday’s big game? No, not the Super Bowl. We’re talking about the Puppy Bowl. The fifteenth annual contest of cuteness is scheduled for Sunday, February 3, when 39 pups will face-off to determine which teams gets to be called the canine champions.
Puppy Bowl XV airs on Animal Planet
Puppy Bowl XV airs on Animal Planet on February 3. The two-hour special kicks off at 3 p.m. Eastern (12 p.m. Pacific time). The pre-game show starts at 11 a.m. Eastern. With the Super Bowl kickoff scheduled for 6:30 p.m. ET, that means you can squeeze both games into your TV viewing schedule.
As in recent years, “rufferee” Dan Schachner will oversee the on-field antics at Geico Stadium alongside his assistant Shirley the rescue sloth. Correspondent Jill Rappaport will introduce the “Pup Close and Personal” segments profiling different dogs.
After the Super Bowl, Animal Planet will air the Dog Bowl. This show focuses on older dogs who are more often ignored at shelters. It premieres at 8 p.m. Eastern.
How are the dogs chosen for the Puppy Bowl?
The members of “Team Ruff” and “Team Fluff” (as well as the backup pups) come from 50 different animal shelters in 20 states, as well as Costa Rica. All of the dogs in the Dog Bowl are also rescue pets.
Three of the dogs in this year’s Puppy Bowl are special needs. Pippi is a blind Jack Russel Mix, Bumble is a blind and hearing-impaired Australian Shepherd Mix, and Will is a three-legged Doodle Mix.
To be eligible for the Puppy Bowl, pups need to be vaccinated, well socialized, and between 12 and 21 weeks old, Vox reported last year. There are also height and weight restrictions.
Animal Planet has a list of shelters that each Puppy Bowl contestant came from on its website. In past years, every dog featured in the Puppy Bowl and the Dog Bowl has found a loving home. While some of the pups are adopted before the event (it’s filmed months in advance), a few may still be available on game day. But if they are, you’ll have to act fast. Puppy Bowl stars can get adopted within minutes, Schachner explained in Reddit AMA. However, each shelter has other equally deserving animals that also need a forever home.
What other animals will make an appearance?
— Animal Planet (@AnimalPlanet) January 27, 2019
The puppies might be the star of the show, but they’re not the only animals you’ll see during the big event. Shirley the sloth will be cheered on by her own fan club of adorable baby sloths. Plus each team has a different animal mascot. Three baby porcupines are supporting Team Ruff, while Team Fluff has a capybara in their corner.
On the sidelines, there will be a group of baby kangaroo cheerleaders. And during halftime, a group of kittens will take the field.
More of a cat person than a dog person? Well, then you need to turn to the Hallmark Channel, which will air Kitten Bowl VI on Sunday at 2 p.m. Eastern.
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