Each year, Americans look forward to the annual Puppy Bowl as a canines across the nation come together for a dog version of the Super Bowl. First premiering in 2005, the program shows a group of dogs of various breeds at play in a pretend football stadium. It’s wholesome fun for the whole family and has become an important aspect of the whole Super Bowl Sunday experience. However, the purpose behind the Puppy Bowl encompasses something much greater, according to CNN.
The goal behind the Puppy Bowl isn’t just to provide entertainment by showing some cute puppies playing together. In fact, the event is carefully planned out down to every last detail. Each puppy chosen to participate is selected for a very specific reason. The event is meant to encourage pet adoption and emphasize the value of rescuing an animal from a shelter.
When looking to welcome a new pet into the family, people often opt to buy a dog from a breeder. They may spend hundreds if not thousands of dollars. The Puppy Bowl features dogs that are all from shelters across the country. Event organizers hope to persuade those considering a new pet to adopt rather than shop. With so many animal shelters filled to capacity, adopting a dog really could be saving a life.
Each year an estimated 6.5 million cats and dogs are brought to U.S. animal shelters. With only limited supplies, many animals will face being euthanized if they are not adopted. In 2o11 alone, a staggering 2.6 million shelter animals were euthanized. However, statistics show that number has been growing smaller each year since. More animals are being adopted and more and more families are checking local shelters first before turning to breeders. What has been the catalyst for this positive change? Dan Schachner, the referee of the Puppy Bowl, attributes the decreased numbers to increased awareness.
“I’m not saying it is because of us, but we are part of a movement that is increasing awareness.”
This year’s Puppy Bowl will showcase 93 different puppies from 51 different animal shelters. They will join together for a chaotic game of puppy football that is sure to put a smile on viewer’s faces. It won’t just be dogs participating in the event. The halftime show will feature kittens, kangaroos, sloths, and more.
When asked why he chose to referee in the contest every year, Schachner had a simple answer.
“Dogs make us more human and they make us better people,” he said.