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JoAnna Lou
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Furry Alternative to the Super Bowl
The Puppy Bowl showcases pets for adoption

I’m not a big football fan, so instead of tracking touchdowns on Sunday, I’ll be tuning into Animal Planet to get my puppy fix. For nearly a decade, Animal Planet has been putting on an alternative to the Super Bowl for pet lovers.

Enlisting the help of Petfinder.com, the Puppy Bowl recruits young dogs from rescues and shelters all over the country to participate. The puppies must be between 8 and 16 weeks old, adoptable and adorable. This year’s competitors came from 32 shelters and rescue groups representing 20 states.

On Sunday, 58 puppies will be vying for the title of MVP (Most Valuable Puppy), determined by a poll on the Animal Planet website. The young pups will be joined by cheerleading pigs, a tweeting (as in Twitter) bird and performing cats, who are also up for adoption.

I love that the Puppy Bowl showcases the adorable pets available from rescue groups and shelters. In previous years, all of the participating pets found forever homes. Even better, visitors to Petfinder.com increased by 15 percent following the popular event, surely resulting in many more adoptions.

Animal Planet’s Puppy Bowl VIII airs Sunday, February 5, 3-5 p.m. EST. Will you be watching?

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JoAnna Lou is a New York City-based researcher, writer and agility enthusiast.

Photo by Animal Planet.

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