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Cuteness On The Grid: Westport Canines Star in 'Puppy Bowl' Promo Tour

Little Foot starred in the 2016 "Puppy Bowl" promotional tour.
Little Foot starred in the 2016 "Puppy Bowl" promotional tour. Photo Credit: Connecticut Humane Society
Spike starred in the 2016 "Puppy Bowl" promotional tour.
Spike starred in the 2016 "Puppy Bowl" promotional tour. Photo Credit: Connecticut Humane Society
Blossom starred in the 2016 "Puppy Bowl" promotional tour.
Blossom starred in the 2016 "Puppy Bowl" promotional tour. Photo Credit: Connecticut Humane Society

WESTPORT, Conn. — As the Carolina Panthers and Denver Broncos duke it out in Super Bowl 50 on Sunday, dog lovers across the nation will be tuning in for a little necessary “ruff”-ness in the form of Animal Planet’s “Puppy Bowl XII.”

And a dozen or so canine competitors from the Connecticut Humane Society are getting the word out, appearing on national media outlets to make sure no one misses this annual cuteness overdose.

“They’re on a promotional tour,” said Alicia Wright, coordinator of e-philanthropy and capital campaign for the organization. “They do different promotional visits to media outlets.”

Once at ESPN, “Fox and Friends” or “The Huffington Post” — to name three stops along the 11-day tour — the pups are reunited with Dan “The Ref” Schachner, who officiates as the doggie defenders tussle with toys on a mini gridiron.

The puppies are divided into teams, differentiated by jaunty green and yellow kerchiefs, Wright said. At some stops they’re even given Super Bowl 50-themed nicknames, such as “Peyton Panting” and “Derek Woof.”

This weekend, five benchwarmers will get their chance to shine, Wright said.

“It gives the original 12 a rest,” she said.

After all the hoopla, the doggie divas will be offered for adoption at the Humane Society’s Westport and Newington offices sometime during the week after the Super Bowl.

Those interested in owning one of the pint-sized punters should visit cthumane.org and look for a mention of Puppy Bowl in each dog’s profile.

Wright did want to clear up some confusion: The Connecticut puppies didn’t play in the actual Puppy Bowl this year.

“That was taped six months ago,” she said. “These puppies weren't even born then.”

“Puppy Bowl XII” will air on Animal Planet from 3 to 5 p.m. Sunday.

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