This Sunday, the Kansas City Chiefs will face off against the San Francisco 49ers in Super Bowl LIV. But that’s not the only big game happening that day. Before kickoff in Miami, a much cuddlier roster of players will take the field to compete for the Chewy “Lombarky” trophy. Yes, we’re talking about Puppy Bowl XVI, which airs Feb. 2 at 3 p.m. ET/12 p.m. PT on Animal Planet. (The pregame show starts at 2 p.m. ET.)
Meet some of this year’s Puppy Bowl players
This year, dozens of furry players will be competing for either Team Ruff or Team Fluff for the biggest prize in doggy sports. And as anyone who’s tuned in to past Puppy Bowls knows, these dogs are also looking for loving forever homes. 2020’s roster of 96 adoptable dogs come from 61 shelters and rescue organizations in 25 states plus the U.S. Virgin Islands, making Puppy Bowl XVI the biggest event ever. There are even some international puppies from Columbia and Canada.
Among the paws-itively adorable players are Sol, a Chihuahua/Border Collie mix who came all the way from Cartegena, Colombia (accompanied by Puppy Bowl host Jill Rappaport) to compete in the big game, and Jack, a Chihuahua mix picked by comedian and animal rescue advocate Whitney Cummings for the big day.
There’s also Lucca, a Chihuahua/Miniature Pinscher mix from Texas Chihuahua Rescue; Rummy, an Australian Cattle Dog/American Staffordshire Terrier mix from Rocky Mountain Puppy Rescue; and Maverick, a Dachshund/Pekingese mix from Virginia Beach SPCA.
In year’s past, every single Puppy Bowl pup (as well as every halftime show kitten) has found a forever home (though some are already adopted by the time the game airs). To ease the transition from the shelter to new home, each dog receives an adoption starter kit from Chewy that includes toys, treats, food, beds, grooming and cleaning supplies, and other essentials.
Some special needs dogs will also take the field
This year’s Puppy Bowl will also feature five special needs dogs who are hoping to be adopted.
Ferris is a three-legged Labrador Retriever mix, while Rooster is an American Staffordshire Terrier /Bulldog mix with a cleft palate. There are two hearing-impaired pups, a Great Dane named Kismet and a Chihuahua mix named Paprika. There’s also Filbert, a blind and hearing-impaired Shetland Sheepdog mix from the Double J Dog Ranch, a sanctuary in Idaho for dogs with special needs.
Of course, puppies aren’t the only dogs that need homes. That’s why Animal Planet also hosts the Dog Bowl, which features adoptable pooches who are a bit older (but no less in need of love). Dog Bowl III airs Saturday, Feb. 1, at 8/7c on Animal Planet.
What if you’re a cat lover?
While you’ll see some kitties at halftime during the Puppy Bowl, cat lovers will want to tune in to Hallmark Channel, when Kitten Bowl VII airs on Sunday at 2 p.m. ET. This year’s event will feature more than 100 rescued kittens from around the U.S. Hallmark hosts the event in partnership with North Shore Animal League of America and Last Hope Animal Rescue and Rehabilitation.
Read more: Which Royal Family Members Have Dogs? Here’s Every Royal Pet Owner
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