Cherry Hill foster pup Jake “Cronut” Waffles will be part of Team Fluff for this year’s 20th Puppy Bowl, airing at 2 p.m. on Sunday, Feb. 11, on the Animal Planet channel.
Jake is a 7-month-old shar-pei from a Virginia rescue shelter who is fostered by a township family.
The tradition of the puppy bowl began 20 years ago as counter-programming for the Super Bowl. It started as a joke, according to news outlets. Today, it involves puppies playing on a small football field. The rules are simple: Bring a toy into the end zone. (It doesn’t matter which end zone.) When the goal is met, it’s a touchdown.
The game is overseen by a referee who makes the calls and can issue penalties for foul play. Its broadcast is similar to NFL football, with multiple camera angles and commentary.
Jake “Cronut” Waffles was given the stage name Cronut, since it has been 20 years since the release of cronuts, croissant-donut hybrids. To celebrate Cronut’s entry into puppy bowl, Haddon Culinary in Collingswood also collaborated with the Shar-Pei Rescue of Virginia to donate a portion of the proceeds from cronut sales to the rescue.
Jake is one of 131 puppies who will be playing in the Puppy Bowl, and one of 73 from shelters across 36 states. He will represent the shar-pei rescue that took him in.
“Jake was a wonderful dog, a very easy puppy for him to take places and meet other dogs,” said Laura Say, president of Shar-Pei Rescue of Viriginia.
Jake is now under the care of Cherry Hill residents Patty and Tony Sevick, who have fostered and adopted several shar-peis from the Virginia shelter and have worked with the rescue for 14 years. They are known as “foster fails,” because they adopted both dogs they were fostering. There are currently two at their home, and they are fostering Jake with the intent to adopt.
“Fostering helps those in need of homes get out of whatever situations they’re in,” Tony explained. “Sometimes the dogs will … have to be rehomed and it prevents them from having to go into a shelter.”
Patty, Tony and Say helped socialize Jake with other puppies to prepare for Puppy Bowl, which filmed a few months ago.
“(Jake)’s been super-socialized,” Patty noted. “We live in a neighborhood with small children and he gets lots of walks; he’s been outside at Halloween parties in neighborhoods.”
While he didn’t make it to the third round in the pup-ularity contest, people will still be able to cheer for Jake at Puppy Bowl XX.
Say explained that there is a great need for foster homes, whose families need to provide care for the animals. The Virginia rescue takes care of veterinary bills and works on finding the dogs forever home.
“Some dogs are only fostered for a couple weeks, some longer, depending on the medical care they’re going to need,” Say explained. “And some dogs, when they go to their foster home, they find their forever homes.”
To learn more about the rescue, visit https://sharpeirescueofva.org/_wp/. To learn more about Puppy Bowl, visit https://www.discovery.com/shows/puppy-bowl/see/get-ready-for-puppy-bowl-xx-