Each country in the world has its own national celebration, which usually catches the attention of everyone, bringing a society’s passion for its country together. Some are festivals and some others are sporting events. Regardless, these big events always powerfully attract and gather multitudes and many receive an overwhelming amount of media coverage. The Super Bowl is America’s real national pastime as well as a sport and marketing event that resonates around the globe.
Inspired by this American sports tradition, Animal Planet features, since 2005, the Puppy Bowl, the biggest television pet adoption event broadcasted once a year on the same day of the Super Bowl. The show was created as an option for those uninterested in the sport, but because it attracted the public at large, its time slot was changed to allow viewers to watch both the human and animal championships.
Even if the program features puppy games that mimic the Super Bowl, the Puppy Bowl is not entirely about dogs. The halftime show is reserved to the kittens that step into the field and play with toys and lights for cat fans to enjoy.
The puppies play freely inside of a miniature stadium as the referee controls the actions in the field. Meanwhile, the announcer and commentator narrate and make funny appearances using football game terms and jargon.
The cheerleaders have been different animals each year, such as rabbits, hens & rosters, pigs, and hedgehogs.
Both the dogs and cats in the show are adoptable shelter animals. It is needless to say that most of them find forever homes thanks to the event.
Just like the human Super Bowl, the puppy version has the traditional show sidekicks and varied entertainment, but in their animal version, even awarding a pooch with the title of the Most Valuable Puppy.
To maintain the Super Bowl spirit, the Puppy Bowl has its own kiss cam, four-legged celebrity attendees and, in some editions, a hot tub to relax the players.
“Meep the bird” a very cute cockatiel is also part of the team. He is in charge of sending Twitter messages to outsiders during the game. To complete this adorable combo, a crew of hamsters hangs out inside the blimp and a tailgate party also takes place, where a canine audience meets up and follows the match together on TV.
Sponsored by the American Animal Hospital Association, with representatives of the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, the American Humane Association, and the participating shelters, the well-being of the animals involved is a priority.
The show aired is a compilation of footage recorded over the course of several days. During the latter, a veterinary doctor takes care of the animals under the eye of these representatives to ensure animal welfare standards are maintained.
To catch the best images possible numerous cameras are required, some of them inside the toys, and others strategically installed in the Animal Planet Stadium.
The show is a source of wonderful family entertainment and is gaining more viewers every year as well as helping shelter dogs and cats find a loving home.
Before, during, and after the show the publicity that the participants get make the event more and more successful every year and the number of kittens and puppies that find a forever home grows accordingly. Since usually participants of the Puppy Bowl are adopted during the show, Animal Planet’s producer came up with the idea of including older dogs which have a harder time getting adopted.
Only the actual traditional Super Bowl could overcome the buzz generated by its canine replica on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and other social media outlets, where some human celebrities and fans helped spread the news.
According to Forbes and Discovery’s official stats, more than 10 millions of viewers tuned in to watch the Puppy Bowl each year and vote for the Most Valuable Puppy.
Enjoy videos featuring the Puppy Bowl’s most memorable moments below.
Behind The Scenes