Timon, playing for Team Fluff
Timon, playing for Team Fluff
Courtesy of Animal Planet

Adorable Miami Rescue Dogs to Participate in Animal Planet's Puppy Bowl

Though the Dolphins may have disappointed us (again), Miami will still have some hometown heroes hitting the gridiron come the big game day. An array of cuddly puppies born in the 305 are competing in Animal Planet's Puppy Bowl. 

The channel worked with 44 animal shelters and rescue groups from across the U.S. to pick players for #TeamRuff and #TeamFluff, and Miami's own Florida Little Dog Rescue, Miami-Dade County Animal Services (MDAS), Animal Aid Inc., and Planned Pethood are all in. MDAS is also the only public shelter in Florida participating in the adorable annual event.

"Working with the ASPCA, we participated in Animal Planet’s Road to the Puppy Bowl national pet adoption promotion last March," says Lilian Bohorquez, marketing and media relations rep for MDAS. "It was during that time that we connected with Animal Planet about participating in the February 2016 Puppy Bowl." 

MDAS chose four cuddly critters to participate. So how were tryouts held? "The puppies selected for the Puppy Bowl were chosen to reflect the diversity of Miami’s pet population," Bohorquez says. "Puppies were chosen based on their playfulness and unique personalities."

Star, playing for Team Ruff
Star, playing for Team Ruff
Courtesy of Animal Planet

The starting lineup of MDAS alum includes:

Star, #TeamRuff, female Labrador and Chow Chow mix (probably)
Star, her mom, and siblings were picked up by an animal control officer and sent to foster care. The pup, boasting long and fluffy hair, ended up looking entirely different from her brothers and sisters. Clearly, hers is a face for television. "Star was adopted by a loving family during the Puppy Bowl 'tryouts' in New York," Bohorquez says. "Star’s doggie mom and her other puppies have also been adopted. We are very happy that all the members of this beautiful family found loving and forever homes."

Luna, female Cocker Spaniel
Surrendered to the shelter by her owner, Luna reportedly has excellent athletic abilities and loves to play fetch. Expect her to be a serious contender on the field. 

Timon, #TeamFluff, male terrier mix
Picked up as a stray, Timon earned his moniker thanks to his resemblance to a certain meerkat. Initially shy, Timon came out of his shell and is now described as "sassy." He was adopted by a loving multipet family.

Donny, male Labrador mix
Donny and his six siblings were taken to the shelter by a good Samaritan. He loved playing with his sis, Daisy, so staff thought they'd both make great additions to the team. Donny won the spot — and got scooped up by his foster family to boot.

Though these cuddly cuties are no longer available for adoption, plenty of other pups are sitting at MDAS just waiting for you to show up and fall in love with them. So go adopt one (or two!). Visit miamidade.gov/animals to start picking your own team roster.

You know who to root for come February 7. Big, burly dudes hitting each other, or cute, fuzzy pups play-fighting? No contest. 

Puppy Bowl XII
Airs Sunday, February 7, from 3 to 5 p.m. on Animal Planet. 

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