This Year’s Puppy Bowl Highlighted Special-Needs Pups

It doesn’t matter who you rooted for in the Super Bowl; we can all agree on one thing…puppies are awesome!

Animal Planet’s Puppy Bowl XIII aired this past Sunday.  Their message:   “adopt-don’t-shop.” It featured 78 puppies from 34 animal shelters and rescue groups across the nation.  Team Ruff vs. Team Fluff.

In this year’s Puppy Bowl, the focus was on special-needs dogs to increase awareness of these magnificent animals with the hopes of finding them forever homes.

“Special-needs dogs make amazing companions,” Green Dogs Unleashed founder Erika Proctor said. “For me, they are much easier to train. After all, deaf and blind dogs hear and see with their hearts.”

Doobert lost his first home because his owners were not equipped to take care of a hearing-impaired pup.  Virginia-based Green Dogs Unleashed placed him with a wonderful family, and he instantly has four dog siblings!

He may not be able to hear the ref’s whistle, but he will be showing the world that, as one of three special-needs dogs, he can still tear up the turf.

Doobert is joined by his two special-needs friends.  Winston, a sight-and hearing-impaired dog, who was adopted through Double J Dog Ranch in Idaho, and Lacy, a three-legged pooch, from Operation Education Rescue in Tennessee.

Most of the pups on the show are available for adoption, all three special-needs dogs are already adopted. Justin Jones describes his Winston as the “sweetest, friendliest dog on the planet.” Lacy and her brother were found under a deck on a broiling hot day last summer, and were rescued by Megan Church.

Church originally fostered both of the pups with the intention of putting the up for adoption to permanent families. However, when Lacy had her leg amputated, Church grew too attached to her.


A smiling Winston snoozes in his Los Angeles home. Photo: Justin Jones

Dianne Ireton says she is excited to draw attention to her “playful, funny” Doobert at this year’s big event. “We know him as being special anyway, just because he’s who he is,” said Ireton. “It’s nice to be able to show people.”

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