Carlo will look to "rope" in the competition during this year's Puppy Bowl.EXPAND
Carlo will look to "rope" in the competition during this year's Puppy Bowl.
Courtesy of Miami-Dade Animal Services

Two Miami Dogs to Star in Animal Planet’s Puppy Bowl XIV

Super Bowl LII is this weekend, and Miami Dolphins arch-nemesis Tom Brady and his New England Patriots are poised to add to local misery that much more.

Fortunately, there will be cute baby dogs to make things better. Animal Planet’s Puppy Bowl XIV will air this Sunday at 3 p.m.

Among the 90 adoptable puppies from across the nation are two from Miami-Dade Animal Services (MDAS). Representing the 305 are purebred pug Carlo Carlino and the Catahoula Cur-like Pequita. This marks the third consecutive year MDAS has pups in the event.

“The whole idea behind this is this: It is great to adopt a shelter animal,” says Lilian Bohorquez, communications manager of MDAS. “In addition to seeing these puppies, the whole Puppy Bowl encourages people where to go to adopt a shelter pet of their own.”

Pequita is noble and ready for the Puppy Bowl.
Pequita is noble and ready for the Puppy Bowl.
Courtesy of Miami-Dade Animal Services

According to Bohorquez, this year’s Puppy Bowl has already been recorded. She and the shelter’s foster coordinator flew to New York, where the bowl took place, and watched the pups play on the gridiron. Though only Carlo — who has been described as energetic and willful (like most pugs) — made the starting lineup, both dogs enjoyed the journey.

“Oh, yes, they got the VIP treatment,” Bohorquez says. “Not only was it great to see the puppies, but for us, we got to meet and network with people from rescue organizations and shelters throughout the U.S. It’s a chance for us to create relationships where, if we each have needs in the future, we know who to contact.”

As for Carlo and Pequita, both pups now have forever homes. Carlo has been adopted, and Pequita is in a foster-to-adopt scenario. To celebrate their adoptions and so more folks can find an all-star pup of their own, MDAS will host a free Puppy Bowl watch party from 2 to 3 p.m. on game day, February 4.

The party will include a “pawtograph” session with local Puppy Bowl vets and pet-related prizes for the first 50 guests. Adoptions are free for all pets, including puppies, this Sunday at the shelter.

Introducing your starting pup in this year's Puppy Bowl, Miami's own Carlo.
Introducing your starting pup in this year's Puppy Bowl, Miami's own Carlo.
Courtesy of Miami-Dade Animal Services

Amid all of this puppy love, it’s important to keep the other shelter residents in mind as well. They’re often just as sweet and, well, they started out as puppies too (except the cats, of course).

“I will say that puppies and smaller dogs are among the first to be adopted at our shelter,” Bohorquez says. “The challenge is the big dogs. I do know that Animal Planet is working on a competition that showcases larger dogs or older dogs. Puppies are very popular, of course, but sometimes a puppy is not a right fit. Sometimes you have to give an older dog a chance too.”

Puppy Bowl XIV. 3 p.m. Sunday, February 4, on Animal Planet.

The Fluffy Tailgate Party. 2 to 3 p.m. Sunday, February 4, at Miami-Dade Animal Services Pet Adoption and Protection Center, 3599 NW 79th Ave., Doral; 305-468-5900; miamidade.gov/animals. Admission is free.

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