Award-winning animal advocate and Water Mill resident Jill Rappaport is the host and consulting producer of Animal Planet’s first-ever Puppy Bowl Presents: The Dog Bowl, airing Saturday, February 3 at 8 p.m. A companion to the network’s Super Bowl Sunday hit Puppy Bowl, the one-hour special is designed to shine a light on adoptable adult rescue dogs in need of forever homes.
Rappaport, who owns six rescue dogs, including four seniors, conceived of the idea after hosting Puppy Bowl’s “pup close and personal” segments, highlighting the backstories of the rescue puppies featured on the show. “We need to educate people to the joys and benefits of an older pet, which is what The Dog Bowl will do,” Rappaport says, “People will open their heart and home to them.”
The show will highlight 50 adoptable adult dogs, as old as 15, from shelters around the country, including Stony Brook-based foster group Long Island Bulldog Rescue (longislandbulldogrescue.org) and Little Shelter in Huntington (littleshelter.com)—two organizations close to Rappaport’s heart.
During the broadcast, featured rescue dogs from two teams—Team Paws and Team Tails—will cavort within a miniature football stadium, scoring points as they bring toys into the end zones.
In addition to action on the field, the show will feature in-depth “Dog’s Life” profiles of individual team members, hosted by dog world celebs. Hosts include NFL player Eric Decker and his wife Jessie James Decker who run Deckers Dogs; NFL player and animal advocate Logan Ryan; Tia Torres from Pit Bulls & Parolees; and Instagrammer Steve Greig (@Wolfgang2242) who has dedicated his life to rescuing senior dogs.
A special The Dog Bowl halftime adoption event, “Pet-A-Palooza,” is also taking place at Huntington’s Little Shelter.
An ardent animal lover, supporter of rescue organizations and voice for dogs in need, Rappaport says The Dog Bowl is incredibly important in the ongoing struggle to show people the value of adopting older dogs. “They’re languishing in shelters across the country,” she explains, noting that an adult or senior dog is often the best match for those looking to adopt.
“Stop looking at the digit and look at the animal,” Rappaport adds. “They are still very vital with lots of love and life to give —just like older people.
Watch Animal Planet’s Puppy Bowl Presents: The Dog Bowl on Saturday, February 3 at 8 p.m. The show airs a second time on Sunday morning.
Rappaport will also appear in Puppy Bowl XIV on Animal Planet that Sunday, February 4 at 3 p.m.