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Puppy Bowl 2017 on Animal Planet - Feb 5

On Sunday, millions of Americans will tune in to watch the 2017 Puppy Bowl, an adorable counterpart to the Super Bowl.

Designed to promote pet adoption, this annual event first began in 2005 and will air on Animal Planet on Sunday 5th February at 3 pm E.S.T. in the US. 

WHO ARE THESE ADORABLE ATHLETES? 

The Puppy Bowl, whose origins can be traced back to a joke, pits Team Fluff and Team Ruff against each other for the Lombarky Trophy. All the canine competitors come from a shelter or rescue organisation and are up for adoption through the Sato Project.

In 2015, 2.8 million people tuned in to the event in its first airing. 
The 2016 Puppy Bowl garnered 2.2 million viewers against Super Bowl 50, and its 12-hour marathon attracted a total of 9.3 million viewers.
A lot of people don't know this but unlike its human-based rival event, the Puppy Bowl does not happen live. It’s actually filmed several months in advance, using multiple cameras and rotating its furry participants in and out; the footage is then cut down to highlight the cutest and most action-filled moments possible!

The 13th annual Puppy Bowl will feature 78 puppies that come from 34 rescue organisations in 22 states. As for the participants themselves, there are a few requirements: they must all be within 12 and 21 weeks of age, well-socialised, and vaccinated. They must also meet certain height and weight restrictions due to the size of the “stadium.”

For Puppy Bowl X, the organisers also introduced Meep the parrot tweeting in real time and you can follow all the action live again this year @meepthebird!

WHAT IS NEW IN 2017?
Lucky, playing on Team Fluff in 2017 - Animal Planet
Last year, the spotlight was on senior dogs in need of adoption. 

This year’s game will pay tribute to those canines requiring special assistance. Several special-needs dogs will be featured, including Lucky, a three-legged dog, Doobert, a deaf dog and Winston, a sight and hearing-impaired dog. 

"Obviously, we’re just doing this to try to point out the fact that when you go to a shelter, don’t overlook dogs that may look a little sick or challenged.” explains Puppy Bowl referee Dan Schachner — back for his sixth stint as the game’s zebra!

There's also a sideline cheer squad and this year it will be a combo of rabbits and guinea pigs, all of them rescues. Also on the sidelines for the first time in 2017: mascots, including a chinchilla and an owl!

ALSO FEATURING A KITTY HALFTIME SHOW



Coinciding with 2017's halftime show of the Super Bowl LI (apparently there's another game on?), which will star Lady Gaga, the Puppy Bowl will feature a halftime show starring the Chicago Rock Cats performing "Puparazzi." You can see cats playing guitars or scratching on a DJ turntable and the performance will be led by Kitty Gaga in her infamous meat dress!

Sadly Animal Planet in Australia is still not broadcasting Puppy Bowl XIII live nor even the day after. You may be lucky enough to stumble across it a few months later which we feel is a real shame...

When: Sunday 5th February 2017, from 3:00 to 5:00 p.m. E.S.T. (US) 

Where: Animal Planet TV Channel

If you don't have cable access, you will find some cute clips like this one via the Puppy Bowl's YouTube channel  

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