Annual Puppy Bowl Features Hurricane Rescue Dogs By Carley Lintz

The Patriots and the Eagles weren’t the only teams duking it out on Sunday. The day also featured a matchup between Team Fluff and Team Ruff for Puppy Bowl XIV.

Every year, the TV event brings together a bunch of cute puppies to romp, run and roll around a mini football field for Animal Planet’s alternative to the Super Bowl. The game ended with a final score of 52-47, marking the second year in a row that Team Fluff took home the Lombarky Trophy. Bear, a pit bull-foxhound mix, was named MVP while Mr. Wiggleworth, a super cuddly Shar Pei, captured the Underdog Award.

This year’s competition featured a roster of 90 adoptable canines from shelters and rescue groups. Multiple four-legged players were rescued from areas devastated by recent hurricanes, two pups saved from Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico. Also in the lineup were furry athletes with special needs, such as Ryder (a sight-impaired Husky), Chance (a deaf Dalmatian), Moonshine (a sight-impaired and deaf Border Collie) and Luna (a Pomeranian mix with a cleft palate),

Dogs weren’t the only animals on the field, though. Barnyard animals, including ducklings, piglets and baby bunnies served as cheerleaders, working the sidelines and hyping up fans. For the halftime show, adoptable kittens performed as the group Kitt-ENSYNC. Shirley the rescue sloth also graced the field as the assistant to return rufferee, Dan Schachner.

Before the pups got ruff on Sunday, Animal Planet premiered the first ever Puppy Bowl Presents: The Dog Bowl on Saturday, Feb. 3. Both games are aimed at bringing attention to shelter dogs, especially at-risk populations like older canines and animals with special needs.

To learn more about all of the participating dogs, shelters and rescue organizations, visit Animal Planet’s Pet Adoption Resources.

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