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SoCo Rescue Dog Chosen for Puppy Bowl Festivities
Beagle mix "Mo" featured in Animal Planet's Puppy Bowl XI
GLENWOOD, GA., January 27, 2015 – Although Georgia doesn't have a team vying for the Super Bowl title on Sunday, it does have an entrant in a less prestigious – but cuter – competition.
"Mo," a young Beagle mix representing Glenwood's Southern Comfort Animal Rescue, is a member of "Team Ruff"'s second string for Animal Planet's Puppy Bowl XI.
The immensely popular complement to the Super Bowl features puppies "playing" on a football field and getting points for carrying toys into the end zones. It will premiere at 3 p.m. (ET) on Feb. 5.
SoCo President Scott Bennett took a detour from an October adoption event in New Jersey to take Mo to New York for the shoot. The duo spent a 12-hour day doing photo shoots, publicity details and waiting for Mo's turn on the playing field.
Although Mo's adorable Beagle looks and outgoing personality charmed event organizers, her on-field performance left something to be desired, and she didn't receive a nod in the "Starting Lineup." She was named to the "Second String" for Team Ruff.
A happy ending
After her return to Georgia, Mo won something far more important than the "Most Valuable Pup" award: A forever home. Bennett said he found the perfect match for her in the Thompson family of Villa Rica.
The family had lost three animals, a dog and two cats, in only a few years' time. Mom Renee Thompson said it hurt too much to get another dog, until one day she picked up her husband's iPad with a Petfinder search pulled up. She started looking and found Mo's picture.
"She instantly spoke to my heart," she said. "I stared at that picture for what seemed like hours."
Bennett brought Mo to the family after returning from Puppy Bowl shooting. Thompson reports that Mo is settling in wonderfully, spending her days playing with her toys and loving on her forever family.
Commitment to rescue
Mo's story isn't unusual for Puppy Bowl contestants. Animal Planet only invites adoptable animals from shelters and rescues for the event. Bennett said one of the highlights of the event was speaking with other rescuers from across the country.
"Hearing their stories, seeing they face the same hardships, have the same victories as SoCo, was very moving," he said. "These very dedicated people gave me a renewed sense of commitment and reassured me that I am not alone in this battle to make a better life for dogs in need."