Senior Dog Abandoned for Being 'Too Old' Becomes the Superstar of Dog Bowl 2020

© Courtesy Animal Planet   Karlie, a player in Dog Bowl 2019, will be honored with one of the first spots in the Dog Bowl Hall of Fame this year

By Kelli Bender, People

Forget the Super Bowl, the biggest weekend in adorable animal sports is almost upon us. Between Feb. 1-2, animal lovers will be treated to the Puppy Bowl, Kitten Bowl and Dog Bowl.

All of the sporting events are filled with adoptable pets having fun, and among those animal athletes is Karlie — a 16-year-old dog that is all smiles now, but used to be in a much less celebratory situation.

On Saturday, Karlie will be honored in the third annual Dog Bowl on Animal Planet. Like the Puppy Bowl, this friendly, furry game includes two teams of rescue pets playing their version of football. Unlike Puppy Bowl, this event features adult and senior dogs as the athletes.

Karlie competed in last year’s Dog Bowl and was an instant fan favorite, that’s why it might shock many to learn this agile sweetheart was previously abandoned by her past owners for being “too old.”

“Karlie In my opinion Is the ‘poster pooch’ for this show — and the reason I wanted to create and do Dog Bowl from the start. She was one of the contestants in Dog Bowl II after being dumped by her owners at almost 16 years old for ‘being too old’ which they actually had the nerve to write on her release papers,” award-winning animal advocate and Dog Bowl host Jill Rappaport said.

“Karlie could’ve easily ended up a ‘lifer’ spending her remaining days/years at Florida Little Dog Rescue,” Rappaport added, but thanks to her dedicated rescuers and the Dog Bowl stage, “she got the gift of a lifetime and what we hope for ALL of these older pets in need — a forever, loving home.”

Thanks to the attention she raised for senior pets during her time on the field, Karlie will be one of the first canines to enter the “Dog Bowl Hall of Fame.”

“It’s so hard to believe that only 15 minutes into last year‘s show she received multiple requests for adoption after sitting for 16 months without a nibble (no pun intended) again proving when you shine a dire light on these seniors, lives get saved!” Rappaport said. “Her life now is exactly what it should be filled with joyful playful days in a loving environment with no fear of being abandoned again!”

After being abandoned, sitting in the shelter for over a year, playing in the Dog Bowl and getting an inaugural Dog Bowl Hall of Fame honor, Karlie is still full of energy. Her current owners feel like Karlie has gotten younger over their time together.

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