Puppies from Humane Society of Greater Dayton play in Puppy Bowl on Animal Planet

Two puppies from the Humane Society of Greater Dayton will play for the Lombarky Trophy in Animal Planet’s Puppy Bowl XIX airing at 2 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 12.

Humane Society of Greater Dayton CEO Brian Weltge told Dayton.com this is the first Puppy Bowl the nonprofit has been a part of.

“There’s so much good energy and happiness around the Super Bowl with people rooting for their favorite team and this just adds another component to the fun of the day,” Weltge said.

Puppy Bowl, the original and longest running call-to-adoption TV event, features 122 puppies from 67 shelters and rescues across 34 states, according to Discovery.com.

The puppies that will represent Dayton are Juniper and Nugget, who will play for Team Fluff against Team Ruff in the three-hour matchup.

According to the Humane Society of Greater Dayton, Juniper is a female papillon/maltese mix who was about three months old during the filming of the Puppy Bowl last October.

Credit: Submitted Photo

Credit: Submitted Photo

“Juniper came to us as one in a litter of four puppies,” said Jessica “JJ” Garringer, marketing and PR manager for the Humane Society of Greater Dayton. “The owner could not keep the litter as he rented his home and the landlord did not permit additional animals, so he brought them to us so that we could find them forever homes.”

Brian Nicholas of Centerville adopted Juniper during a golfing event sponsored by the Humane Society of Greater Dayton in August. He said his wife fell in love with her at the event.

“She’s just a cute, friendly, little puppy,” Nicholas said. “Something you just couldn’t turn your back on.”

Nicholas said they found out when adopting Juniper that the Humane Society of Greater Dayton had submitted her to be in the Puppy Bowl. When she was selected, Juniper and her owners made a trip to New York for the filming. Nicholas said the Puppy Bowl was a “huge production.”

“In the part where they actually do the football part of the Puppy Bowl, she’ll be lucky if she was in any of that footage,” he said. “She was much more interested in the cameramen.”

He added, “It was just amazing. Certainly more than what we expected.”

The other Dayton pup to be featured in the Puppy Bowl is Nugget. According to the Humane Society of Greater Dayton, Nugget is a male terrier/chihuahua mix who was about two months old during the taping.

Credit: Submitted Photo

Credit: Submitted Photo

“Nugget came to us after a Good Samaritan found him wandering along the side of the road,” Garringer said. “With no luck finding his owner, he brought him to us where we then found him a loving, forever home.”

Jessica Frasier of Dayton adopted Nugget in August. She said they lost their other dog of 11 years in January 2022 due to a neurological disorder. A few months later, they adopted Lucy, a beagle mix, and wanted her to have a friend to grow up with.

“We couldn’t be more blessed to have him,” Frasier said. “He honestly fits in our house so perfect. Losing our other dog was very hard, but he has helped us get over that.”

Frasier was not able to go to New York, but she said a representative from the Humane Society of Greater Dayton was able to take Nugget and keep the family updated.

“(He) is very timid and shy,” Frasier said. “I’m sure he will be on a lot of the bloopers just because he was so clumsy and still is.”

Weltge said he is looking forward to seeing the Dayton rescues on the Puppy Bowl.

“We’re happy to have put Dayton on the map for the Puppy Bowl,” Weltge said.

For more information about the Puppy Bowl or to see the full lineup of pups, visit www.discovery.com.

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