Meet the Cute Contestants of Puppy Bowl XII

Puppy Bowl XII
Animal Planet/Keith Barraclough
We can't wait to watch the Puppy Bowl on Super Bowl Sunday.

One of the most highly anticipated sporting events of the season is almost here: Animal Planet’s Puppy Bowl XII. On Sunday, Feb. 7 (aka Super Bowl Sunday), more than 80 puppies from 44 shelters and rescue groups will duke it out to take home the coveted MVP (Most Valuable Puppy) award. Pet lovers, this is must-see TV.

Like last year’s competition, the puppies will be split into two teams: Team Fluff and Team Ruff — and a scoreboard will track each team's points. But puppies aren’t the only animals who will get to shine in the spotlight: Kittens will take over the San Francisco-inspired halftime show; Meep the Bird will tweet commentary; Stanley the Skunk will act as a special assistant ref to head ref Dan Schachner; five silkie chicken cheerleaders will root (cluck?) on the sidelines; and last but not least, a turtle is going to streak across the field!

Besides all the cuteness, what we love most about the Puppy Bowl is that all the puppies and kittens come from shelters or rescue groups across the United States and Puerto Rico — and all are either adoptable or have found forever homes. The competition also promotes senior pet adoption with a special ceremony led by Pro Football Hall of Fame member Bruce Smith honoring past puppy MVPs.    

Puppy Bowl XII airs on Animal Planet on Sunday, Feb. 7, from 3 to 5 p.m. EST/PST, and repeats all day and night for 12 hours. Until then, you can check out the new Puppy Bowl Virtual Reality experience, create a Puppy Bowl fantasy team and see the Puppy Bowl starting lineup below. Which puppy are you rooting for?

Meet This Year's Puppy Bowl Competitors

Puppy Bowl Starting Lineup XII

Animal Planet/Keith Barraclough

Name: Otis
Breed: Bulldog
Age: 17 weeks
Rescue Group: Williamson County Animal Center, Tennessee
Team: Ruff
Fun Fact: Often mistaken for W. C. Fields

Puppy Bowl Starting Lineup XII

Animal Planet/Keith Barraclough

Name: Bijoux
Breed: Great Dane
Age: 12 weeks
Rescue Group: Florida Little Dog Rescue, Florida
Team: Fluff
Fun Fact: Kisses toads in hopes of finding Prince Charming

Puppy Bowl Starting Lineup XII

Animal Planet/Keith Barraclough

Name: Gryffin
Breed: Old English Sheepdog
Age: 15 weeks
Rescue Group: Florida Little Dog Rescue, Florida
Team: Fluff
Fun Fact: Likes shaggy-dog stories

Puppy Bowl Starting Lineup XII

Animal Planet/Keith Barraclough

Name: Timon
Breed: Terrier
Age: 13 weeks
Rescue Group: Miami-Dade County Animal Services, Florida
Team: Fluff
Fun Fact: Searching for a friend named Pumbaa

Puppy Bowl Starting Lineup XII

Animal Planet/Keith Barraclough

Name: Splash
Breed: Great Pyrenees
Age: 14 weeks
Rescue Group: Last Hope K9 Rescue, Massachusetts
Team: Fluff
Fun Fact: Believes in mermaids

Puppy Bowl Starting Lineup XII

Animal Planet/Keith Barraclough

Name: Leah
Breed: Rottweiler
Age: 15 weeks
Rescue Group: Morris Animal Refuge, Pennsylvania
Team: Ruff
Fun Fact: Thinks naps are overrated

Puppy Bowl Starting Lineup XII

Animal Planet/Keith Barraclough

Name: Jimmy
Breed: Spaniel mix
Age: 12 weeks
Rescue Group: AHeinz57 Pet Rescue, Iowa
Team: Ruff
Fun Fact: Considers the Kardashians his guilty pleasure

Puppy Bowl Starting Lineup XII

Animal Planet/Keith Barraclough

Name: Raphael
Breed: Pit Bull
Age: 13 weeks
Rescue Group: Williamson County Animal Center, Tennessee
Team: Ruff
Fun Fact: Has a crush on Carrie Underwood

Puppy Bowl Starting Lineup XII

Animal Planet/Keith Barraclough

Name: Toby
Breed: Maltese
Age: 18 weeks
Rescue Group: Nevada SPCA, Nevada
Team: Ruff
Fun Fact: Never leaves home without sunscreen

Puppy Bowl Starting Lineup XII

Animal Planet/Keith Barraclough

Name: Piper
Breed: Border Terrier
Age: 19 weeks
Rescue Group: Animal Aid Inc., Florida
Team: Ruff
Fun Fact: Signs her paintings with the pseudonym, Pawblo Pawcasso

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