Can You Adopt The Puppy Bowl Puppies? Animal Planet's Annual Event Supports An Important Cause

I'm told there's a huge football game on Feb. 7, but as far as I'm concerned, Animal Planet's Puppy Bowl XII is the far more important sporting event of the day. Over 80 adorable puppies will be competing in this year's extravaganza — and, although the actual competition doesn't begin until 3 p.m. ET, I highly suggest tuning at 2:30 p.m. for the tailgate. (Let's just take a moment to appreciate that pun.) Things will get serious after the tailgate, when #TeamFluff and #TeamRuff will duke it out for a win — and one canine will be named MVP (Most Valuable Puppy, of course) by the end of the evening. If you already foresee yourself falling in love with one or more of these adorable dogs, you may be wondering if you can adopt the Puppy Bowl contestants?

As it turns out, Puppy Bowl is more than just the best sporting event of the year — it also supports the amazing cause of adopting rescue dogs. According to Animal Planet's website, the network collaborated with 44 animal shelters and rescue organizations all over the country to fill out this year's roster. But, don't get too attached to any of the dogs you see on your small screen — since the event was filmed in October, these particular puppies have already been adopted. Rather, the larger purpose of Puppy Bowl is to raise awareness about pet adoption and remind us that there are countless other pups out there who need homes.

Many people who adopted this year's Puppy Bowl contestants have spoken out about how wonderful it is to rescue a canine. For example, Alexandra Martell of Cosmopolitan wrote an article about experiencing "love at first sight" when she met Riley the dachshund at the Puppy Bowl filming — and she left the event with a new addition to her family. Other attendees shared their positive experiences in this "Behind the Scenes" video and emphasized the message that rescuing a dog is an amazing and rewarding alternative to buying a puppy.

As NBC correspondent Jill Rappaport states in the video, the resonating message is that "every one of these adorable puppies are shelter dogs... With rescue dogs, they know they've been saved and in turn they save you." And (spoiler alert!) at the end of the game, we'll get to see the puppies being lifted out of the game by their new owners and it'll be super sweet. (Will the Super Bowl provide us with such a touching moment? I doubt it.)

Whether we root for #TeamFluff or #TeamRuff, let's appreciate the fact that this event brings awareness to an important cause. If Puppy Bowl inspires you to explore the option of rescuing a dog, Animal Planet has compiled a list of resources that will help you get started with the process.

Images: Animal Planet (2)