Puppies here, puppies there, puppies everywhere! At least for a couple weeks in February…when Connecticut Humane Society pups headed to New York City, Hartford and local radio airwaves to spread awareness of pets in need. Not only did the pups build impressive resumes, they also earned valuable social skills – critical to helping them become well-rounded canine citizens– along the way!
A group of Chihuahua mixes, along with some hound buddies, soaked up their 15 minutes of fame in New York while promoting the Puppy Bowl in three TV appearances. It’s been an annual trip for CHS pets for the past several years, with pups serving as Puppy Bowl ambassadors and reminding viewers that homeless animals are in shelters across the country waiting for homes.
(In case you need a refresher: The Puppy Bowl airs on Animal Planet each Super Bowl Sunday and features “teams” of adoptable little fur balls bouncing around a miniature football field complete with goalposts. They earn points or penalties for things like “unnecessary ruffness,” “paws interference,” and napping on the field.)
This year’s NYC itinerary included the TODAY show and cuddles with Kathie Lee and Hoda, along with playtime in a miniature football “field” supervised by the Puppy Bowl referee; followed by a segment on Daily Mail TV with former NFL player Jesse Palmer; and the opportunity to close the markets for the day in the Nasdaq Closing Bell Ceremony.
The world stopped in each TV studio as soon as puppies pranced through the doors—they found instant fans in every producer, assistant and show host. And one pup named Simon found his new dad at the TODAY show.
The little canine athletes had already received medical care in CHS’ medical department, and quickly found homes when they returned from their day in the spotlight. But the national attention and Puppy bowl promos don’t just help CHS’ furry little stars. It gives a boost to all pets at CHS waiting for new families.
Meanwhile that same day, a different group of pups helped pick Super Bowl winners with the Rob Dibble Show on ESPN Radio. The station conducted a live broadcast at CHS’ Pet Wellness and Adoption Center in Newington! Pups “chose” between the New England Patriots and Philadelphia Eagles by snacking on kibbles in bowls marked for each team, and by making “touchdowns” with their toys during playtime. (They stayed true to their New England roots and chose the Pats.)
A few days later, CHS puppies also paid a visit to Hartford’s Legislative Office Building (LOB) to mingle with more than 110 legislators and employees over breakfast. The meet-and-greet let representatives spend time with the furry constituents affected by bills they might consider in the upcoming session. They also got an update on CHS programs and learned why new standards for proper animal care and treatment across the state are needed.
It was easy for both sides of the aisle to come to a consensus that morning on at least one big issue: Puppy day is the best day at the LOB.
While cuddly canines were the big attraction, there was another perk for legislators who attended the breakfast. CHS raffled off a low-cost rabies vaccine clinic, with State Senator Timothy Larson, D-East Hartford, winning the spring clinic day for his district (East Hartford, Ellington, South Windsor and East Windsor).