Animal Planet Unveils Team Rosters for Puppy Bowl XIX

Some sports enthusiasts might be looking forward to the upcoming NFL playoffs that lead towards the decision of what teams will square off in the Super Bowl, but animal lovers will instead be looking forward to Puppy Bowl XIX, in which pint-sized canines will run, jump, and tackle one another on a miniature football field. The beloved celebration of animals might be more than two months away, but Animal Planet has released a first look at the event and revealed the lineup of the adorable puppies who will be highlighted during the festivities. You can head to the official Puppy Bowl website to see the full lineup and watch the event on Animal Planet on Sunday, February 12, 2023 starting at 2 p.m. ET and streaming on discovery+.

Per press release, "Puppy Bowl, the original and longest-running call-to-adoption TV event returns for its 19th year on Sunday, February 12, 2023, at 2 p.m. ET on Animal Planet and streaming on discovery+. The three-hour television matchup will showcase more puppies, more animal shelters and rescues, and more inspiring adoption stories than ever before as the puppy players from Team Ruff and Team Fluff take to the gridiron in the Puppy Bowl stadium to win the Wayfair 'Lombarky' trophy.

"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. Puppy Bowl XIX will feature 122 puppies, 67 shelters, and rescues across 34 states -- and for the first-time will feature a Native American animal organization and a puppy player from Dominica, West Indies.

"Puppy Bowl XIX will start with a pre-game show on Animal Planet and discovery+ at 1 p.m. ET to give audiences the inside scoop on the Puppy Bowl draft with exclusive interviews with coaches and players. Audiences will also learn more about each puppy player's breed mix and other unique traits from Wisdom Panel dog DNA test that could help determine which puppy player will have a furry leg-up on the field. The pre-game show will also provide a first look at the Arm & Hammer Slide Kitty Halftime Show.

"The game kicks off when the Pedigree Starting Lineup players take to the field and as the game progresses, it will be revealed which puppy player has what it takes to be named the Bissell MVP (Most Valuable Puppy) or to win the Subaru of America, Inc. Underdog Award.

"Puppy Bowl referee Dan Schachner returns for his 12th year of overseeing the stumbles & tumbles and calling all the puppy penalties and touchdowns while sportscasters Steve Levy and Taylor Rooks return to provide play-by-play commentary. Audiences will also see the return of Puppy Bowl's 'Adoptable Pup' segments sponsored by Pedigree. Sprinkled throughout the program, 11 shelters from around the country will feature one of their puppies (and 3 shelters with kittens during Kitty Half-Time) that are all up for adoption during the game! Other fan-favorite elements return, including the Puppy Cheer Squad, the coveted water-bowl cam, the slo-mo cam, end zone pylon cameras to catch all the action, in addition to an all-new backstage look at the puppy players' red-carpet arrivals ahead of the game.

"Also returning are the Subaru of America, Inc. 'Pup Close and Personal' segments that share the back stories of the adorable star athletes. Viewers will meet Cooper, a Boston terrier/ boxer mix from Seattle Humane, who marks the Emerald City's debut in Puppy Bowl with a visit to the Seattle Seahawks' Training Camp where Defensive End Shelby Harris coaches Cooper on his signature moves, and Inya, a Chihuahua/ miniature Pinscher mix rescued by the Phoenix-based NAGI Foundation working to restore the sacredness of the Native American community by uniting people and animals. 

"During the game, audiences will also meet eleven special needs puppy players looking for their forever homes that will include Julius, a hearing-impaired Dalmatian, Marmalade, a sight and hearing-impaired Border Collie/ Australian Cattle Dog; Mykonos, an American Staffordshire Terrier/ Bulldog with a cleft palate, among others."

Puppy Bowl XIX starts on Animal Planet on Sunday, February 12, 2023 at 2 p.m. ET and streaming on discovery+.

Will you be tuning into the event? Let us know in the comments!