De Soto, Iowa – An Iowa animal shelter will compete in a dog version of football on Super Bowl Sunday.
The competition was filmed in October in New York, when three of the dogs from AHeinz57 Pet Rescue in De Soto made the “starting line-up”
Amy Heinz runs AHeinz57. She took seven dogs to the competition, but only three – Theodore, a pomeranian and Siberian husky mix, Ferris, a Labrador retriever and American Eskimo mix and Brody, a Chihuahua and mini dachshund mix – made the starting line-up.
Heinz says the competition takes place on a makeshift football field inside a studio, where toys are on the ground. “If a dog picks up a toys and runs across either end of the football field, they get a touchdown.” said Heinz. “It doesn’t matter where they run. If they accidentally kick one over the line, they get a touchdown. It’s pretty funny. They get penalties for pooping on the field. You never know what’s going to happen.”
To qualify for the competition, the puppies must be between 13 and 20 weeks old.
The Puppy Bowl is in its 16th year, and will be broadcast on the Animal Planet cable TV network network at 2 p.m. February 2nd, several hours before the Super Bowl.
Thirty-eight puppies make the lineup out of 92 total dogs that make the trip to New York from rescue groups across the country.
Heinz told WHO Radio News she was contacted by an Animal Planet producer back in June about taking part in the Puppy Bowl. The puppies are chosen based on photos.
AHeinz57 has participated in the last eight competitions. Heinz says all the dogs that took part this year have since been adopted.
Although she took the dogs to the competition in October, she still doesn’t know the final results. There’s typically a large Puppy Bowl watching party at Doc’s Lounge in Johnston with a standing room size crowd.
Heinz says the puppies from AHeinz57 that made the starting line-up distinguished themselves. “These three did something to get them into the starting line-up,” said Heinz. “They either made a touchdown. Ferris pooped all over the field, so he’ll probably get a penalty for that.”