Puppy Bowl: America's cutest athletes ready for spotlight

In this furry sport event, it pays to ruff the passer

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The US is gearing up for what will be the ruffest sporting event of 2023 as dozens of puppies take to the Puppy Bowl stadium to hoist the coveted “Lombarky Trophy”.

Puppy Bowl XIX will pit Team Fluff against Team Ruff in an event on Sunday that will captivate the hearts of millions before the this year's Super Bowl.

But don't expect any horsing around.

Airing opposite of Super Bowl LVII, the Puppy Bowl began in 2005 as a way to raise awareness about rescuing abandoned animals and adopting neglected pets.

This year's Puppy Bowl XIX starting lineup include Cooper, a boxer/Boston terrier mix; Jimmy Kibble, a pomeranian/husky mix; Josh Allenhound, a terrier from New York; and others.

The Puppy Bowl says its adoption rate is 100 per cent, showing that anything is paws-ible when a pack of canines tussle and play fetch in front of millions of Americans.

The purr-fect adoption rate also applies to kittens, who take centre stage during the programme's half-time show.

And this year's programme, to be aired on Animal Planet, features more adoptable puppies than ever looking for their fur-ever home.

Puppy Bowl XIX will feature 122 puppies from 67 shelters and rescues across 34 states. Those tuning in will also learn about each puppy's breed and other unique traits.

“In addition to the ear pulls, tail tugs, sloppy kisses, and puppy penalties, this feel-good sports competition will highlight the incredible work of rescue and shelter workers who dedicate their lives to helping animals find their forever homes,” Discover said.

Among those up for adoption also include special needs puppies such as Julius, a hearing-impaired dalmation and Marmolada, a sight- and hearing-impaired border collie/Australian cattle dog.

Updated: February 10, 2023, 7:14 PM