Behind the Scenes at the Puppy Bowl

GAME DAY

PEOPLE secured a spot on the sidelines at this year's Puppy Bowl IX, filmed in November at a New York City studio. From hound huddles to bench-warming cuddles, we're giving you a play-by-play.

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    Behind the Scenes at the Puppy Bowl

    PICK OF THE LITTER

    Put me in the game, coach! This pup's just one of 35 putting their best paw forward to compete in our favorite sporting event, which airs Sunday at 3 p.m. ET on Animal Planet. Also getting in on the action: hedgehog cheerleaders, hamsters, birds and even kittens. (Think Beyoncé could learn a thing or two from the kitty halftime show?)

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    Behind the Scenes at the Puppy Bowl

    PLAYING THE FIELD

    The Baltimore Ravens and the San Francisco 49ers may be all the talk of that other game happening Sunday, but there's plenty of fur-ocious competitors hitting the field at the Puppy Bowl. All of the tailgaters are from animal rescues.

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    Behind the Scenes at the Puppy Bowl

    TAKE FIVE

    In between plays, pooped puppies – including this MVP-worthy beagle-schnauzer named Trinka, snuggled up in the arms of AHeinz57 Pet Rescue & Transport director Amy Heinz – enjoy a much-deserved time out.

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