Screen Shot 2016-01-07 at 12_04_04 PMThis weekend, the eyes of the sporting world will be on one event. Ratings records are sure to be broken when Animal Planet broadcasts its marquee pet event, Puppy Bowl XII.

On Sunday at 3 PM ET/CT, canines from the best shelters and rescue organizations in the country will bring their talents to the gridiron for the most anticipated match-up of the day.  For the 12th version of the big game, 49 puppies from across the United States have been selected to compete for #TeamRuff and #TeamFluff with the hopes of bringing home the coveted MVP (Most Valuable Puppy) Award!

Ready!

The Puppy Bowl is a zany exhibition of tackles, tumbles, fumbles and fun.  Dogs will get the chance to toss and tug their favorite toys up and down the field, trying to cross the goal line for a touchdown!  Children and pet lovers of all ages will enjoy watching their favorite breeds stiff-paw their way into our hearts.

Animal Planet showcases the dogs to help promote the importance of animal adoptions in local communities.  This year, dogs have been selected from the Nevada SPCA, Arizona Humane Society, Mr. Bones & Company (New York), Green Dogs Unleashed (Virginia), Little Dog Rescue (Florida), Paws Chicago, Citizens for Animal Protection (Texas) and Williamson County Animal Center (Tennessee), among others.

The tail (hah!) gate festivities will get underway at 2:30 PM ET with the Puppy Bowl Pre-Game Show.  Sports analysts and pundits will go over last minute details and strategy for what you can expect to see in the big game.

Set!

Once the game starts, the real fun begins.  While watching, keep an eye out for “Ruferree” Dan Schachner and his special assistant Stanley the Skunk.  They will police any puppy penalties and throw flags for any illegal “drops.”  The game is also interactive — you can create your own Puppy Bowl Fantasy Team!

The Puppy Bowl isn’t just about dogs!  The Kitty Half-Time Show attraction allows our friendly felines to get in on the fun!  The San Francisco themed show will feature pretty kitties romping over famous city replicas that include the Golden Gate Bridge, Fisherman’s Wharf and “Al-Cat-Raz” island!

The fun also extends to the sidelines.  Chicken Cheerleaders will root on their squads and Meep the Bird will provide aerial analysis from his perch high above the field.  Special Correspondent Jill Rappaport will introduce Pup Close and Personal segments to highlight the individual stories of the animals.

Hut!

While everyone is sure to enjoy watching their favorite pets have a ball, let’s not forget — there is still a competition!  Members of #TeamRuff and # TeamFluff will try their best to punt, pass and kick their way to the MVP Award.  Last year’s winner was a lab mix named Henry.  Who will take it home this year?  There are a lot of great dogs in this year’s big game.  Any one of them could take home the top prize.

Official That Pet Blog Prediction:  After careful consideration, we are going with rookie standout Carolina — a 17 week old American Staffordshire Terrier — to emulate her namesake Panthers and take home the Most Valuable Puppy Award!  She has been through a lot, but we know she has the drive and determination to come out on top!

Puppy Bowl XII will air on Sunday February 7, from 3-5 PM ET/PT on Animal Planet.  Get your family, friends, snacks and pets ready!  If any of the animals from this year’s event catch your eye, or if you want to know more about pet adoptions, check out Animal Planet’s website!