Two local St. Pete puppies are going to make their national television debut next month. Nancy and Max will take the field as they play for Animal Planet’s Puppy Bowl XIX. Nancy and Max were rescued by a local animal rescue group, Compassion Kind of St. Petersburg. Both dogs will play for Team Ruff. Nancy will also serve as a team cheerleader.
Animal Planet's Puppy Bowl XIX
The Animal Planet Puppy Bowl raises awareness about the importance of adoption by having rescue puppies play and run a mini-gridiron. There were 122 rescue pups in Puppy Bowl XIX, from 67 shelters and rescue groups from all over the country. While the Puppy Bowl is yet to air, it has already been recorded. Nancy and Max went to Glen Falls, New York, for the show’s taping.
Nancy, who is now six-months-old, is a small and gentle female terrier mix. Compassion Kind rescued Nancy's mother from a hoarding case in Puerto Rico, and Nancy was one of the smallest in the litter. Michelle Merlo of St. Petersburg adopted Nancy and renamed her Nova.
Max, a lab/pointer mix who is also now six-months-old. Some people found Max under a bush on a rural road in Jamaica. He was a bit camera shy during the taping. He loves to play with his adoptive sister and lie in the sun. His adopters are the family of Jay and Lauralie Benge of Riverview.
Compassion Kind is an organization that works with governments, institutions, local leaders, civil society organizations, foundations, and businesses around the world to ensure a voice for the most vulnerable beings. They believe that all living things deserve a life free from harm. The organization has projects around the world -- everything from animal rescue to clean water.
“Rescue work never stops,” Compassion Kind Founder Aja Estro said. "We are thankful to have been selected for the second year by Animal Planet’s Casting Crew to include some of our rescues in Puppy Bowl XIX. Hopefully, we can continue to raise awareness of our global rescue efforts and equip our non-profit with donations and supplies for whatever this year brings."
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At the moment, Estro says the organization's greatest need is a van. They need it to continue transporting animals they find and rescue during natural disasters like floods, hurricanes, or fires.
To date, Compassion Kind has saved over 8,000 animals. Says Estro, "Our mission is to inspire compassion through global action. We are so grateful for all our dedicated volunteers who work tirelessly to help those in need."
Compassion Kind is inviting everyone to a Puppy Bowl Watch Party at the Dog Bar in St. Petersburg on game day starting at 1 p.m. Attendees can also meet Nancy and Max and get their “pawtographs.”
Animal Planet’s Puppy Bowl XIX will air on Sunday, February 12, from 2 to 5 pm.
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