Florida rescue dogs ready to ruff at annual Puppy Bowl

5 of the puppies playing Sunday are from Florida Little Dog Rescue

Nugget the corgi waits for his chance during a taping of Puppy Bowl XVIII. (Laurie Zander Johnson, Laurie Zander Johnson)

ORLANDO, Fla. – The players are groomed and ready for the biggest game of the year this Sunday.

That’s right, the Puppy Bowl returns to Animal Planet for its 28th year, and also back are puppies representing a Central Florida animal rescue.

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Five puppies taking part in Puppy Bowl come from Florida Little Dog Rescue, a St. Cloud-based animal rescue that specializes in dogs of all kinds.

“We enjoy doing Puppy Bowl because it promotes that you can find any dog in rescue,” said Laurie Zander Johnson with FLDR. “(For instance) our corgis are already adopted, but people don’t realize you can get a corgi from a rescue.”

There are two corgis taking part in the Puppy Bowl from FLDR this year -- Nugget and Norman. The two pups came from a hoarding case and were too young for adoption, so they came to Johnson’s rescue.

Nugget is a starter for Team Fluff, while Norman is a cheerleader for Team Ruff.

Other starters include:

  • Baxter, a pug on Team Fluff who came from a breeder who could sell him because of eye damage, which FLDR fixed so that he now has perfect vision.
  • Squeak, a Pomeranian who was bought from a puppy store and given up by the family because of his hypoglycemic seizures. Johnson says they were caused by him being undersized, but they got his weight up and he’s been seizure-free since.
  • And Ted D. Bear, a goldendoodle who came from a breeder because of a bone deformity in his tail. “He’s a Muppet,” Johnson said. “He’s not really a goldendoodle, he just goes along with his happy Muppet life and loves everyone.”

Ted is also one of the two finalists in the Puppy Bowl Pupularity Playoffs.

All of the puppies are adopted already.

BREAKING NEWS!! FLDR puppers are headed to Puppy Bowl!!! FLDR has five puppers featured in this year's Puppy Bowl XVIII...

Posted by Florida Little Dog Rescue - The Official Fan Page on Tuesday, January 18, 2022

This is Florida Little Dog Rescue’s eighth year taking part in the Puppy Bowl. They weren’t able to take part last year because of COVID-19 geographic quarantine restrictions in New York, where the show is taped.

This year Johnson said the show was filmed in Lake George, NY, instead of New York City, and the dog scenes were spread out over three days to break up the number of people on the set.

That wasn’t a problem either way for the puppies, who got lots of playtime.

“The pups that were cast, they all just played. They’re happy, social pups,” Johnson said. “All of them were in rescue through no fault of their own. They just really had nice temperaments and personalities.”

While this year’s Puppy Bowl puppies already have homes now, FLDR has lots of dogs available for adoption. You can check out the current list of adoptable dogs on the Florida Little Dog Rescue website.

Puppy Bowl XVIII airs Sunday at 2 p.m. ET on Animal Planet. On top of the puppies of Team Ruff and Team Fluff vying for the Lombarky Trophy, expect more animal hijinks with cats and other animals, plus team coaches Snoop Dogg and Martha Stewart.

About the Author:

Christie joined the ClickOrlando team in November 2021.