Puppy Bowl XVI to feature Delaware Valley shelter pups

Left to right: New Life Animal Rescue's 14-week-old Linus, Morris Animal Refuge's 18-week-old Coach and Providence Animal Center's 13-week-old Kingery. (Animal Planet)

Television’s cutest sports competition and adoption event returns for its 16th year on Super Bowl Sunday.

Animal Planet's Puppy Bowl XVI will hit the airwaves at 3 p.m. on Sunday, Feb. 2.

The competition will feature 96 puppies representing 61 animal rescue organizations from more than 25 states.

Actor Dan Schachner is set to referree the two-hour event, which promises sloppy kisses, puppy piles and playtime.

The "Sweet 16" celebration — which pits Team Ruff against Team Fluff in a battle to earn the inaugural “Lombarky” trophy — will also feature several pups from across the Delaware Valley.

Team Fluff's starting lineup includes an 18-week-old coonhound-boxer mix named Coach from Philadelphia's Morris Animal Refuge. Also competing on Team Fluff is Kingery, a 13-week-old boxer-American Staffordshire terrier mix from Delaware County's Providence Animal Center.

Burlington County, meanwhile, will represent in Team Ruff's starting lineup. Competing will be Linus, a 14-week-old Pomeranian-miniature poodle mix from Marlton's New Life Animal Rescue.

Artemis, a 20-week-old Chihuahua-rat terrior mix, will also represent Team Ruff through ACCT Philly, the city's only open-intake animal shelter.

“Even though our pup didn't make the starting lineup we are certain that this underdog will make an impact at Puppy Bowl XVI for Team Ruff!” ACCT Philly wrote in a Facebook post.


Puppy Bowl contestants from the Delaware Valley

Left to right: Tia, a 4-year-old tri-pod pup from Providence Animal Center, will compete in the Dog Bowl. ACCT Philly's 20-week-old Artemis will participate in the Puppy Bowl. (Animal Planet)

Other expected highlights include a puppy water bowl cam, a Puppy Bowl blimp, a puppy kiss cam, and a hamster named Surge, who will take the wheel to power the event's scoreboard.

In past years, 100% of the participating puppies have been adopted to loving families.

At 8 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 1, animal advocate Jill Rappaport will host Animal Planet’s Dog Bowl, the one-hour competition for adult and senior dogs living in rescues and shelters.

Team Goldies and Team Oldies will match up for their own furry football competition that features 65 dogs representing 32 rescue partners.

Media's Providence Animal Center will attend the event for its third straight year with tri-pod Tia, a 4-year-old black lab on Team Goldies.

The shelter visited Good Day Philadelphia with three Philadelphia Eagles-inspired pups ahead of their Puppy Bowl XV apperance in 2019.


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