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Hawaii’s first-ever shelter-born pup to play in Puppy Bowl

Hoku, an American staffordshire terrier/catahoula leopard mix, is the first young pup ever from Hawaii to play in the Puppy Bowl, a fun animal sports competition as part of a “call-to-adoption” television event. Courtesy photo

The Maui News

A local rescue from the Maui Humane Society will be the first young pup ever from Hawaii to play in the Puppy Bowl, a fun animal sports competition as part of a “call-to-adoption” television event.

Hoku, an American staffordshire terrier/catahoula leopard mix, was one of seven puppies born at the shelter in Puunene in May last year after mother, Siggi, was brought in alongside her three sisters a few days prior.

Hoku was fostered by an employee at the Maui Humane Society, an organization that cares for over 4,000 animals a year.

“This helped her train for her big Puppy Bowl debut,” according to a news release. “Hoku was adopted by this same employee’s parents who live in Connecticut, so she has gone from island life to snow bunny life.”

Hoku will now be one of 118 adoptable puppy players vying for the chewy Lombarky trophy during the Puppy Bowl XVIII on Sunday. This year, about 67 shelters and rescues from 33 states are participating and will make up Team Ruff and Team Fluff.

The Puppy Bowl highlights adoptable pups “in all their cuteness” and showcases the shelters and rescues, as well as their staffers, who dedicate their lives to helping animals find loving homes, according to a news release.

Each pup player will participate in a Wisdom Panel dog DNA test, which will reveal each dogs’ special breed mix. This might give them an advantage on the field.

They will also chase, fetch, guard, heel, and sprint to show off their skills and have opportunities to score “touchdowns.”

The puppies, along with Hoku, will be playing in the GEICO stadium for the three-hour event, which will air at 9 a.m. HST on Discovery Plus and Animal Planet on Sunday.

Gilligans Bar & Grill in Kihei will be hosting a tailgate event for Maui residents to cheer Hoku on beginning 8 a.m., one hour before the Puppy Bowl.

For more information about the shelters, rescues and organizations that participated in Puppy Bowl XVIII, Animal Planet audiences can visit Puppybowl.com/Adopt.

For more information about the Maui Humane Society, visit https://www.mauihumanesociety.org

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