It's kind of like the alternative for those who are not into the Super Bowl. It's the Puppy Bowl and it returns for this year with a record number of puppies from Danbury..

Now even the Puppy Bowl has been affected by the pandemic. This year, the producers of the show only picked puppies located within driving distance of the New York studio in Glen Falls where they film the show.

DAWS, the Danbury Animal Welfare Society, has been sending dogs to the Puppy Bowl for the last four years, but this year with the COVID-19 protocol in place, DAWS will have nine puppies competing.

The Puppy Bowl first premiered in February 2005 opposite Super Bowl XXIX and has been an Animal Planet staple since.

Each year in October, puppies from shelters all over the country head to New York to film the show which sometimes can take up to three days. Since Puppy Bowl I in 2005, several features have been added through the years including the kitty half time show and the rabbit cheerleaders. They even go as far as naming a Puppy Bowl MVP --  you guessed it -- Most Valuable Puppy.

Karen Pasieka is the Puppy Program Foster Coordinator at DAWS and she was in charge of bringing the puppies to the filming location. Here's what she told about the puppy selection process.

We try and pick puppies that are not shy and are going to be playful. When they get to the filming location you never know who is going to be the player. This year, we had one that was a major defensive player, her name was Lucy, a very spunky little beagle mix. She got all the other puppies revved up, and she wasn't nervous about the lights or the people.

The main objective of the show is to promote pet adoption and we're happy to say that all nine dogs that are participating from the Danbury Animal Welfare Society have already been adopted since the show was recorded. In fact, DAWS has seen a record number of adoptions since the start of the pandemic. 1200 dogs found their forever homes in 2020, the most ever for DAWS.

Puppy Bowl XVII airs on Sunday, February 7 starting at 2 PM on Animal Planet and Discovery Plus.

Check out some un-FUR-gettable plays from past Puppy Bowls:

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