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Puppy Bowl XII is Here!

Over a decade ago, Animal Planet started a tradition that would forever change Super Bowl Sunday. For animal lovers that are ambivalent about the big game, a new, grander event was brought to fruition, an event known only as the Puppy Bowl. Since that fateful day, the Puppy Bowl has grown from a minor television program to an event that has drawn in a huge number of viewers annually for the past few years.

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For those of you who have never witnessed the glorious spectacle that is the Puppy Bowl, the event features a parody of the Super Bowl, played by puppies in a mock stadium. While the puppies frolic, allowing everyone to enjoy their adorable antics, commentators describe the action in familiar football terms. A human referee has also historically declared penalties and touchdowns, adding a sense of legitimacy to the game.

Past Year's Puppy Bowl, well underway. Image Courtesy of

The actual essence of the Puppy Bowl, however, is not about who wins. Rather, itís about celebrating our furry friends. The program also features felines during the halftime show playing with lasers, balls of yarn, and other toys. Other animals are also included in the festivities as cheerleaders, with rabbits, chickens, pigs, and hedgehogs pouting their pom-poms in previous years.

Pet Safety Animal Planet takes several precautions to ensure that all of the pets involved in the Puppy Bowl are kept safe. A veterinarian is on standby on the set and representatives from several organizations and shelters are also present to oversee the safety of the animals.

The show also does more than simply ensure that its participants are safe for the duration of the show. The main goal of this puppy-tastic event is to find loving homes for these animals. Each animal that partakes in the festivities is actually on loan from pet shelters that are searching for new homes.

A Culture of Champions

Meep the cockatiel tweeting under the handle @Meepthebird. Image Courtesy of

The unique parody offered by the Puppy Bowl includes all the hallmarks we associate with the real Super Bowl sardonically reproduced with miniature models and adorable animals. Check in with Twitter handle @meepthebird for Puppy Bowl updates!

Additionally, not all puppies are players- some line up on the sidelines or in front of the television set to watch the game. This feature creates an interesting culture around the event that further immerses viewers in the experience. Each added flair and intricacy of this parody further amplify its cultural relevance and serve to make the program as enjoyable as possible to its target demographic.

Each player in the puppy bowl competes to be crowned the gameís "Most Valuable Puppy". The award is decided by viewers who vote for their choice online during the event. This interaction is just one way that viewers can become part of the festivities.

What to Expect for Puppy Bowl XII

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Animal Planet teamed up with 44 animal rescues and shelters across the United States to find the 49 puppies that will be participating in Puppy Bowl XII. These adoptable players will fill the roster of two teams, #TeamRuff and #TeamFluff. The Puppy Bowl Pre-Game Show starts at 2:30 PM ET/PT and the kick off is at 3 PM ET/PT.

If you are a cat lover, donít miss out on the Half-Time Show which will be featuring a kitten takeover of San Francisco. Curious what that entails? You will have to catch the Half-Time Show to find out! Playful puppies and curious kittens arenít the only attraction at this yearís Puppy Bowl. Tune in to watch and see what other animals will be making an appearance!

No Such Thing as Too Many Kittens

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The Puppy Bowlís feat of attracting millions of viewers on a day dominated by professional sports is a noteworthy accomplishment. In fact, its success has inspired a similar effort from the Hallmark Channel. Hallmarkís Kitten Bowl will feature a similar parody of the Super Bowl starring felines.

The format of the game is similar to the Puppy Bowl- with kittens scoring points by moving toys into the end zone. The event will feature special guests, a kitten cam, and its own fantasy league. The program also aims at bringing attention to pet adoption, promoting organizations such as North Shore Animal League America. If you are a cat lover, donít miss out on this yearís Kitten Bowl airing February 7 at 12:00/11:00C on the Hallmark Channel.