What’s far better than the upcoming Super Bowl? The Puppy Bowl, obviously! Maybe except every person however most can concur that enjoying pups play as an overture to the large video game makes Super Bowl Sunday also much better. Puppy Bowl XVII this February 7 will certainly show to be off the doggone graphes.
Last year might have mosted likely to the pets, so a little young puppy love is necessitated to begin 2021 with sanctuary pups from Team Ruff (orange) and also Team Fluff (blue) trying the win in the sweetest video game. Just ask the guy that possibly has the very best work ever before. That guy is Dan Schachner that remains in his 10 th year as Puppy Bowl umpire, or “rufferee”.
Animal Planet currently recognized Schachner as a host of various other programs prior to coming onboard. That, combined with his love of pets and also his history in sporting activities tv, made him an ideal fit to be umpire and also representative for the pets and also the program itself. “It’s a special, apparently amusing humorous placement, which has really become a rather significant mission-driven placement,” Schachner stated. “You end up being the voice for these pups and also our objective is to obtain them taken on.”
“We attempt to go out their tales, their backstories, where they originate from, what their requirements could be, and also why they could be an excellent suitable for someone’s house,” Schachner stated, including the relevance of looking past the purebreds and also seeing the charming blended types offered. With numerous individuals adjusting in to see the Puppy Bowl, it has actually absolutely come to be larger for many years. “We understand we have actually made a distinction in the pet rescue area.”
Typically, Puppy Bowl includes almost 100 pets up for fostering, however this year there are 70 young puppy gamers from 22 sanctuaries. It will certainly be organized by Martha Stewart and also Snoop Dog while Kristen Bell, Valerie Bertinelli, and also Duff Goldman will certainly aid highlight various pups. Senior pet dog tales will certainly be highlighted throughout.
While the program tapes in October, several pups are taken on by airtime, which is the best objective of the program. This year for the very first time an “Adoptable Pup” sector will certainly consist of 11 pups and also 3 kittycats that can be embraced on video game day. Any continuing to be pups are normally taken on right after.
Puppy Bowl has come a long way and was initially an afterthought. While no one really wanted to compete with the Super Bowl, Animal Planet thought of putting its own spin on the day. They didn’t expect many viewers and trained a camera on a small group of puppies to see what would happen. “The very first Puppy Bowl looks ancient,” Schachner said. It features a very small green turf and dogs just hanging around with some chew toys shaped like footballs. There was little to no sponsorship.
The next year they added in the kitten half-time show and eventually cheerleaders. “It kind of extends the day and something the entire family can get behind,” Schachner said. “It’s grown every single year in millions and millions of people tuning in.”
Puppy Bowl tries to showcase different rescues throughout the country, with some from Mexico, Puerto Rico, and South America. With the pandemic and COVID-19 restrictions, dogs mainly came from within driving distance to where the show was filmed in upstate New York. Typically filmed on a New York City soundstage, this year they shot in a hockey arena, giving them more room for distancing purposes.
Animal Planet previously had to reach out to shelters but now it’s the other way around. They also have relationships with shelters across the country. Dogs must be between 3 and 6 months old, untrained, and up for adoption. The Puppy Bowl team then tries to choose dogs from various breeds, mixes, sizes, and backstories.
What’s nice is that shelters featured on the Puppy Bowl report a large increase in their adoption inquiries. Plus, stating that a dog was an MVP player on Puppy Bowl doesn’t hurt.
Accidents happen on the field but the show must go on. “If we stopped the show to showcase every pee or poo that happens in the field, we’d never get the Puppy Bowl done,” Schachner said. Other accidents include dogs sleeping, snoring, drooling, drinking from the water bowl, and jumping into the water bowl. A dog may chew up a toy until it’s in 15 pieces or even eat up the end zone.
Schachner’s biggest challenge on the field is not stepping on the puppies. “When you’re a nearly 6-foot tall human in a small space in a sea of tiny little dogs running around, you can’t step on tails,” he said. ‘It’s a big no-no, and I haven’t done it yet. It’s also important not to step on the water bowl or something worse.”
Archer, Ariel, and Athena: 14-week-old Siberian Husky/American Staffordshire Terrier sibling puppies from The Sato Project, Brooklyn, New York. The organization rescued their pregnant mom Julietta from a garbage dump in Puerto Rico in July 2020. Julietta gave birth on July 19 to five live puppies. They flew to New York on October 11, 2020, and met their families.
Bananaberry: 17-week-old Australian Cattle Dog/Golden Retriever/Siberian Husky from Operation Paws for Homes (OPH), N. Chesterfield, Virginia. She arrived at OPH from a Mississippi rescue partner along with six siblings and was adopted by a family in Pennsylvania. She loves a good truck ride and going to work with her human dad.
Jett: 32-week-old Labrador Retriever/German Pointer from Pets with Disabilities in Prince Frederick, Maryland. The runt of his litter, Jett was born without front legs. Supersmart, Jett has truly come alive while at the organization and can walk on his hind legs as well as navigate in his new wheelchair. Joyce Darrell and Michael Dickerson, owners of Pets with Disabilities, decided to adopt Jett as their own.
Rumor: 20-week-old American Staffordshire Terrier/Australian Cattle Dog from Animal Refuge League of Greater Portland, Westbrook, Maine. Born deaf, Rumor is smart and picked up hand signals from her adoptive mom. She originally came from a rescue group in Oklahoma that pulls dogs from high-kill shelters.
Marshall: 15-week-old Boston Terrier from Green Dogs Unleashed, Troy, Virginia. His family surrendered him after finding out he was deaf. They loved him but wanted to ensure he would receive the care and training they could not provide.
Theodore: 13-week-old Great Pyrenees/McNab from Green Dogs Unleashed, Troy, Virginia. Also born deaf, he was surrendered by a family who wanted him to have the proper care they couldn’t provide. With high intelligence and sharp instincts, he did great in training and was adopted soon after Puppy Bowl filmed.
For Schachner, the best part of the Puppy Bowl is the happy ending. “Every year, every single one of the dogs that we showcase gets adopted, if not by the very end of the Puppy Bowl airing then a day or two later,” he said. “By the time the Puppy Bowl is two days old, every single dog has been adopted.”
Watch Puppy Bowl XVII on February 7 starting at 2 p.m. ET/11 a.m. PT streaming on discovery+ or airing on Animal Planet.
You can vote and give back in the Pupularity Playoff Sweepstakes by clicking here and find out about DOGTV!
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