Northeast Ohio Skunk Earns Stripes in “Puppy Bowl XII”

General Published on : 2/2/2016

Every football game needs referees to enforce the rules and maintain the order of the game. That may be a little more difficult to do when dealing with puppies. Tank, a domestic skunk, will assist as the “rufferee” and call the shots in “Puppy Bowl XII,” which will air on Animal Planet this Sunday, Feb. 7 at 3 PM ET.

The show features a furry group of line barkers and wide retrievers, making adorable tumbles and fumbles in an effort to score winning touchdowns for #TeamFluff and #TeamRuff. For the first time ever, the Pro Football Hall of Fame will be involved with the show to to honor legacy players throughout the Puppy Bowl and promote the adoption of older "veteran" animals in addition to puppies and kittens. Gold Jacket Bruce Smith is the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s Gold Jacket Ambassador to the Puppy Bowl Hall of Fame. Like many other heroes of the game, Smith is a lifelong animal lover and a longtime fan of the Puppy Bowl.

Tank belongs to Deborah Cipriani, founder and president of Skunk Haven and football fan. The rescue, shelter and education center takes in unwanted pet skunks. Cipriani resides in North Ridgeville, Ohio, which is located less than an hour from the Hall of Fame.

“I was pleasantly surprised that the Pro Football Hall of Fame was involved in the Puppy Bowl. And actually it’s great!” exclaimed Cipriani. She hopes the Pro Football Hall of Fame will continue to stay involved with the show in the future.

Take a look at the video below and listen to Cipriani talk about Tank’s experience on the show.