Puppy Bowl Players

Meet the adorable Austin rescue dogs playing in the national Puppy Bowl

Meet the adorable Austin rescues playing in the national Puppy Bowl

Puppy Bowl 2016 dogs football
Catch the Puppy Bowl cuteness on Animal Planet Sunday at 2 pm where two local dogs will compete. Photo courtesy of Discovery
Puppy Bowl 2016 Hailey dog Leslie Noble Animal Planet
Hailey, a recent Austin rescue, will be playing in the Puppy Bowl this Sunday. Photo by Keith Barraclough/DCL, courtesy of Discovery
Puppy Bowl 2016 Poppy dog Sherry Stephens Animal Planet
Poppy, also from Austin, enjoys dog-friendly patios and anything she can remove the stuffing from, approaching life with her go-to phrase: "The bigger the bone, the better." Photo by Keith Barraclough/DCL, courtesy of Discovery
Puppy Bowl 2016 dogs football
Puppy Bowl 2016 Hailey dog Leslie Noble Animal Planet
Puppy Bowl 2016 Poppy dog Sherry Stephens Animal Planet

Forget the big league — Sunday is going to the dogs. Coinciding with the biggest sporting event of the year is Animal Planet's annual Puppy Bowl, a program that pits four-legged football fiends against one another in a fit of furry cuteness.

In the name of adoption awareness, Animal Planet handpicked 80 dogs from 44 shelters across 25 states. Among these outstanding players, two local rescue dogs will be competing in Puppy Bowl XII.

If you're looking for some intel for your Puppy Bowl fantasy team draft (which totally exists, by the way) or you just want to learn more about the canine representatives from Austin, here's the scoop on our local talent.

Meet Poppy and Hailey, two young lady pups with their eyes on the ball — ahem, prize. Don't get too attached, though, because both of these football hounds have recently been adopted by local families.

Name: Poppy
Breed: Poodle mix
Favorite toy: Anything she can remove the stuffing from
Favorite thing about Austin: Dog-friendly patios
Motto"The bigger the bone, the better."
Fact: Poppy met her new mom, Sherry, when she was volunteering at Austin Animal Center. Poppy is now part of a loving home with two older canine siblings.
Special thanks to: Austin Animal Center

Name: Hailey
Breed: Wirehaired terrier mix
Favorite thing to do: Learn new tricks
Favorite pastime: Looking out the window and barking at birds
Favorite game: Fetch
Fact: Hailey is extremely intelligent and doesn't let her deafness or an old leg injury stop her from playing with her family. It was love at first sight when Hailey met her new mom, Leslie.
Special thanks to: Austin Pets Alive!

Poppy and Hailey will make their television debut during Puppy Bowl XII on Sunday, February 7, at 2 pm on Animal Planet.