Blogs and Stories
February 7, 2020
Amy Wade Carotenuto


The Most Adore-a-Bowl Game…

There was a time where all football bowl games were played by bowl games, The Pro Bowl and of course The Super Bowl. Then, in an effort to promote the adoption of homeless pets, Animal Planet launched The Puppy Bowl which would air opposite the Super Bowl in hopes that some folks had more of an affinity for pets than sports.

The first Puppy Bowl aired on February 6, 2005 the same year as Super Bowl XXXIX, the year that Jacksonville, Florida hosted the Super Bowl and the Patriots played the Eagles. The puppies featured in the first Puppy Bowl and every Puppy Bowl since have all been from shelters and rescue organizations. 100% of the participants, well over 500 puppies have found their forever homes as part of the Puppy Bowl. The publicity has resulted in thousands of adoptions.

The Puppy Bowl begins with the national anthem and then the introduction of the starting lineup for #TeamRuff & #TeamFluff. The pups play inside a puppy sized stadium complete with cardboard spectators and crowd noises. The clever, funny commentary, complete with penalties for unnecessary cuteness and instant slow motion replay, mimics the sports commentary from that other bowl game.

This year Puppy Bowl XVI will include participation of over 90 puppies from 61 shelters. Puppy Bowl is actually shot over two full days with 21 cameras to get two hours of puppy games. There’s footage from a pre-game tail-gate party. There’s Pup-Close feature stories. Cheerleaders and half time entertainers have been everything from chickens to hedgehogs to pigs, penguins & more.

There’s even a Lombarky Trophy, which is proudly held now by #TeamRuff after their 59 to 51 victory in 2019.

2019’s MVP was Bumble, a special needs Aussie Shepherd playing in her rookie year. Bumble overcame great physical handicaps of sight and hearing impairment to teach her fellow dogs some new tricks. Bumble kicked two field goals in the second half of the game. She looked so proud at the closing ceremonies.

Hallmark channel started the Kitten Bowl in 2014 also to promote adoption. Kittens from shelters try out and the most energetic, agile and mischievous cat-letes are chosen to play in what Hallmark Channel refers to as a “Catstravaganza of Cuteness” Hosted this year and every year by Beth Stern, actress, animal advocate and wife of radio host Howard Stern.

The life-changing entertainment is expanding. This year the second annual Cat Bowl and the third annual Dog Bowl will each air on Saturday February 1st, the day prior to the Puppy Bowl, Kitten Bowl and that other bowl game.