ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (CW44 News At 10)– Three local puppies will make their national television debut next month when they take the field for Animal Planet’s Puppy Bowl XVIII. Rescue dogs Maisie, Billie and Jenna are with local animal rescue group Compassion Kind of St. Petersburg. Billie will star in the starting lineup. Masie will come in off the bench. Both dogs will play for Team Ruff. Featured as a cheerleader for Team Fluff is sweet pup Jenna.

The adorable pups flew with Compassion Kind founders Aja Nikiya Estero and Kim Mniece from Florida to New York for the taping. They were among 118 rescue puppies from 67 shelters nationwide who joined Teams Ruff and Fluff in the annual event airing Feb. 13 – Super Bowl Sunday. Since the Puppy Bowl was taped several weeks ago, the three pups have now found their forever homes.

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Maisie (terrier pup) was surrendered to Compassion Kind while they were on the ground in Louisiana after Hurricane Ida. The owner could no longer care for her after the family lost everything in the storm and handed her over. She is full of spunk and attitude. She is adorable and she knows it! She was adopted by a lovely family who live in Buffalo, New York. They had been moving from Florida to Buffalo the week the Puppy Bowl was taped so she went to her “furever” home right after. She has a dog sister and a 1-year-old human sister. She has been experiencing snow for the first time and loving it. She is very loved and spoiled. Maisie’s new name is Ida.

Billie (boxer pup) was found with her litter in Puerto Rico as a stray. She was one of eight. She now has two other dog siblings and two human teenage sisters. Her momma calls her “her soul dog” and she goes everywhere with her. She loves a good Starbucks run. Billie can be quite timid at times, but she is getting more confident each day and is learning from her dog siblings who she adores and loves to play with.

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Jenna (terrier/hound) was also a stray in Puerto Rico with her sister, Jackie. They were adopted separately. Jenna is very timid, but she has bursts of confidence and can be very brave. She was adopted by a great family in St Petersburg. She loves to play with her two dog siblings. She is super spoiled and adored and her new name is Izzy.

“This year has been very tough for rescues,” Compassion Kind Founder Estero said. “We are thankful to have been selected to include some of our rescues in the Puppy Bowl. Hopefully we can raise more awareness of our global rescue efforts and equip our non-profit with donations and supplies for whatever this year brings.” To date Compassion Kind has saved more than 7,000 animals.
Says Estero, “Our mission is to inspire compassion through global action. We are so grateful for all our dedicated volunteers who work tirelessly to help those in need. We are also thankful to the producers of Animal Planet’s Puppy Bowl for putting together another amazing competition and including Compassion Kind in their casting. We invite you to join us for a Puppy Bowl Watch Party at the Dog Bar in St. Petersburg on game day from 1-6 pm where you can also meet Billie and Jenna.”

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To read more about the work of Compassion Kind, a 501(c)(3) organization, and how you may become involved as a volunteer, foster or adopter, please visit the Web Site.