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PEOPLE secured a spot on the sidelines at this year’s Puppy Bowl IX, filmed in November at a New York City studio. From hound huddles to bench-warming cuddles, we’re giving you a play-by-play.
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PICK OF THE LITTER
Put me in the game, coach! This pup’s just one of 35 putting their best paw forward to compete in our favorite sporting event, which airs Sunday at 3 p.m. ET on Animal Planet. Also getting in on the action: hedgehog cheerleaders, hamsters, birds and even kittens. (Think could learn a thing or two from the kitty halftime show?)
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PLAYING THE FIELD
The Baltimore Ravens and the San Francisco 49ers may be all the talk of that other game happening Sunday, but there’s plenty of fur-ocious competitors hitting the field at the Puppy Bowl. All of the tailgaters are from animal rescues.
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HAVING A BALL
He’s got the ball! A Puppy Bowl pooch goes for the touchdown – or maybe he’s just playing around – as filming continues.
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In between plays, pooped puppies – including this MVP-worthy beagle-schnauzer named Trinka, snuggled up in the arms of AHeinz57 Pet Rescue & Transport director Amy Heinz – enjoy a much-deserved time out.
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RUFF & TUMBLE
You snooze you lose? Nah, after plenty of playtime, every pigskin-loving pup’s a winner at the Puppy Bowl.