puppy bowl 2014Animal Planet’s Puppy Bowl airs before Super Bowl and always promises a ton of cute.  This year, 66 puppies played canine football, and 28 kittens starred in a halftime show.  There were even African black footed penguins from the Columbus Zoo who make great cheerleaders.

It’s all filmed the October before Super Bowl. This year’s 10th Puppy Bowl took place at New York’s Geico stadium, on a 19′ by 10′ field.  The scoring is based on two measures: touchdowns (dragging a chew toy across the end zone) and penalties (excessive nipping, falling asleep). Just like real football there’s a starting lineup and lots of second-stringers too.

But the story behind Puppy Bowl is even better.

All the dogs and cats who appear are adoptable, and this year all found their forever homes.  Some were adopted almost immediately by the film crew.

Backstage during the taping, prospective owners visit the pets and talk with the  Animal Planet crew and adoption staff.  (This year there were 37 shelters and adoption agencies involved in getting the “players” to the game.)  Viewers could check out the pets’ profiles on Animal Planet to learn where and how to adopt.

Not only did all the Bowl pets find homes, but the whole event raises interest in animal adoption in general.  With over 13 million viewers this year, that’s a really good thing.

To see the too-cute-for-words clips and commentary, visit Animal Planet.