Penguin Cheerleaders: Why I Won’t Be Watching Puppy Bowl X

Cic, a German Shepherd puppy up for adoption. Photo by: Keith Barraclough/Animal Planet

Cic, a German Shepherd puppy up for adoption.
Photo by: Keith Barraclough/Animal Planet

Historically, the Puppy Bowl has been somewhat like, well, a puppy.  So cute, so sweet – you can’t possible resist it, let alone hate it.  Only serial killers hate puppies!

This annual televised event started ten years ago and was meant to mimic the Superbowl game.  Instead of players, puppies from local shelters were used to play the “game” inside a small model football stadium with cute commentary.  Really, you just watch adorable puppies play with each other for hours, rough-housing and occasionally stopping to get a drink of water.

It seems like a win-win situation – animal lovers and those who don’t like football tune in each year, and almost all the puppies were adopted.

This year, though, they’ve decided to take it up a notch.  With penguins.

Photo: Damian Strohmeyer, Animal Planet

Photo: Damian Strohmeyer, Animal Planet

I was horrified when I read this headline from The Hollywood Reporter:

Puppy Bowl X Preview: Designer Dogs, Penguin Cheerleaders and Fantasy Four-Legged Football

Upon further sleuthing, I found out that:

“2014’s competition will be the first ever to feature penguin cheerleaders, brought in from the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium.”



With all the upheaval in Taiji, Japan over their annual dolphin slaughter, and the backlash over the Orcas captured for the Russian Winter Olympics, you would think that the brains behind the Puppy Bowl would think twice and maybe, just maybe – not use aquatic animals as part of their horse and puppy show.

I’m highly disappointed because I won’t be tuning in this year.  I was a little angry that they decided to use pigs last year, but this just pushes me over the edge.  Why do they have to keep upping the ante by adding more and more animals?  Aren’t the cute puppies enough?

Penguins, like most animals, do not belong in captivity.  Although they adapt well to new environments, many develop diseases due to confinement, even in the “best case” scenarios with clean habitats.  And if you think they’re just cute little animals bopping around, take a look at this article.

Additionally, they’ve taken something that is very cute and magnanimous and made it into just another cheap form of entertainment.

That being said, I truly hope that all those dogs in need of homes are adopted. 

Categories: Activism

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