Everything you need to know about the Puppy Bowl and the Kitty Halftime Show
By Janet Simons
Hard as it might be to believe, not every North American was glued to the football game Superbowl Sunday. This fact was not lost on the people at Animal Planet, who launched the world’s first Puppy Bowl on Feb. 6, 2005.
The Puppy Bowl is pretty much a look into puppy playtime with commentary on our furry friends’ actions. When one of the puppies gets a chew toy close to the goal line: Score!
The number for Sunday’s Puppy Bowl IX are still coming in, but last year Animal Planet had record ratings with 8.7 million for the eight hours it was looped on the basic cable channel.
Legend — and Wikipedia – suggest that the first Puppy Bowl was inspired by the popularity of the Christmas Yule Log video. (By the way, the Yule Log hasn’t gone anywhere. You can still watch it any day of the year on YouTube.
Ah, but you were wanting to know about the Puppy Bowl. So here’s a little Q&A compiled with the help of Animal Planet and all those invaluable Wikipedia folks:
Q: Is the Puppy Bowl broadcast live?
A: No. It’s filmed over a period of three days, which allows enough rest periods for the puppies. The heat emitted by the lighting tends to exhaust the dogs, who get a rest break every half-hour.
Q: Is it possible to adopt the featured kittens and puppies?
A: Yes. They go up for adoption immediately after the show through PetFinder.com. They tend to go very quickly.
Q: What other health and safety precautions are taken?
A: Representatives from the ASPCA and the American Humane Society as well as veterinarians and representatives of the shelters that provide the animals all supervise the proceedings.
Q: When did the kitten half-time show begin?
A: In 2006, with Puppy Bowl II.
Q: How do they get the kittens in the half-time show to play on command?
A: They “sweeten” the scratching post, yarn and other toys with catnip.
Q: What other animals have been made part of the show?
A: Hedgehogs are the cheerleaders, and hamsters “man” the blimp.
Q: Is there a Puppy Bowl Hall of Fame?
A: Yes. It’s in Silver Spring, Md. (But we don’t know why.)
Q: I missed the Puppy Bowl yesterday. Where can I see the highlights?
A: You can see it (complete with commercials) at the official Puppy Bowl site.