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This Year’s “Puppy Bowl” Will Feature 3 Adorable Special Needs Pups

On February 5th at 2 PM EST, the 13th Annual Puppy Bowl will premier on Animal Planet to the delight of millions of pet lovers. This year the event will feature three very special pups in the starting lineup – Winston, a vision and hearing impaired Australian Shepherd mix, a deaf English Pointer named Doobert, and an adorable three-legged Terrier by the name of Lucky.

Puppy Bowl XIII was filmed in October with shelter cuties from 22 states and 34 different rescue organizations flying in to participate. The show has featured special needs pups before, but never three in one event!

Winston, the vision- and hearing-impaired Aussie mix, traveled all the way from Double J Dog Ranch in Lake Hauser, Idaho to strut his stuff on the gridiron. He may be at a disadvantage with two of his senses, but Cristene Justus, founder of Double J Dog Ranch, says he more than makes up for it with his super-smelling nose!

We’re one week away from Puppy Bowl XIII. Meet the starters! http://bit.ly/2iFsGQr

Posted by Animal Planet on Sunday, January 29, 2017

 

Tall, lanky Doobert is from Green Dogs Unleashed in Troy, Virginia, and has a body that is built for speed! His competitors probably thought they had the element of surprise over Doobert, with him being deaf. But they didn’t realize they would have to catch the leggy Pointer first!

Doobert, a 15-week old deaf English pointer, is preparing to play for Team Ruff. (Animal Planet)

Posted by Puppy Bowl XIII – Live Stream – February 5, 2017 on Tuesday, January 24, 2017

 

Little Lucky was just 15-weeks-old when she made her athletic debut at the taping of Puppy Bowl XIII. She and her brother Ricky were found on the side of a Tennesee road and taken in by Operation Education Rescue. Lucky’s right front leg was amputated after being accidentally shut in a crate door.

We’re one week away from Puppy Bowl XIII. Meet the starters! http://bit.ly/2iFsGQr

Posted by Animal Planet on Sunday, January 29, 2017

 

She probably will not be appearing on the MVP list – the events proved to be a bit much for Lucky’s taste and she was soon removed from the game, but six-time Puppy Bowl referee Dan Schachner applauded the special little gal’s efforts. He said during the taping:

“Lucky has probably a little more fear and anxiety than the other dogs, so being in that group was daunting. Once they put Ricky on the field with her, it gave her a little more confidence, and she was able to run around with more pep in her step. We would’ve liked to have seen a little more action — maybe (for her to) score touchdowns or get involved in some plays — but just the fact that Lucky was on the field was a success.”

Tune in to the Puppy Bowl on February 5th to watch Winston and Lucky play their hearts out for Team Fluff and Doobert work his magic for Team Ruff! And the best part about these three special cuties’ involvement in the Puppy Bowl? They have all found their forever homes!

H/T to USA Today

Featured Images via Animal Planet

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Written by Dina Fantegrossi

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