Austin’ Humane Society hosts ninth annual puppy bowl


​Kinley Alton (age 6) – adoptee holding Jasmine (boarder collie mix)

Saturday, Feb. 6, otherwise known as the 2016 Super Bowl Eve, the Austin Humane Society hosted their ninth annual Puppy Bowl — an event created to encourage members of the Austin community to spend a few hours playing with shelter puppies and kittens in the hope that the animals would find a family to adopt them.

Before the doors to the event even opened, dozens of Austin locals had already formed a long line that wrapped around the building; as the line grew, so did the anticipation and eagerness of the crowd that anxiously awaited the prospects of adding a new furry member to their families.

The pounding beat of remixed pop music played by special DJ guest Mike Swing, coupled with the delicious aroma of the Emojis Grilled Cheese food truck, added to the elation and eagerness of the crowd.

Once the doors opened, the crowd was met with a variety of dogs housed in pens and cages that had been decorated with football-themed streamers and balloons. Volunteers and Humane Society staff members were stationed at each of the pens, readily available to provide information about a specific puppy or assist with its adoption. Most of the animals were no more than five months old, and all of them were mixed breeds.

The Humane Society allowed each prospective adoptee a chance to hold and play with the puppies. The hope was that such a brief — yet equally intimate — opportunity at getting to know one another would allow enough time for a bond to form between the potential owners and dogs, consequently, compelling those present to adopt.

“Our primary mission is definitely adoption,” Sarah Hammel, shelter manager, said.

Aside from conducting a variety of community outreach programs, the Humane Society’s main goal is to find and pair the perfect match for all of the puppies and kittens they house.

The annual Puppy Bowl was established to facilitate adoption and generate awareness of the importance of animal adoption. It was impressive to see that even within the first hour, dozens of puppies were being taken home in the arms of smiling children.

Yet for those who had no intention of adopting and simply attended the event to play with the young animals, the experience was equally as wonderful as it was difficult.

While playing and bonding with the puppies was incredible, having to return them to the arms of the volunteers was a tough feat in and of itself.

Impressively enough, many resisted the urge to run away with the puppies and, instead, enjoyed the opportunity to play and participate in the activities provided.

This event was organized in such a way that catered to all who attended, whether potential adoptees or community members who were simply enjoying the free, public opportunity.