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Three Morehead dogs featured on the Puppy Bowl

Super Bowl Sunday will feature three dogs from Saving the Animals of Rowan as Team Fluff takes the field in the Puppy Bowl.

Sasha, Aubrey and Jay from STAR left for Connecticut to face Team Ruff with the hopes of being adopted and put in a suitable home, after being abandoned and saved by a local shelter.

“It’s an alternate to watching the actual football game if you’re not a football enthusiast, but for the most part promotes adoptable pets and shelter pets, because they’re all former shelter pets,” said Jan Dacci, a founder of STAR.

Puppies are sent from shelters or rescues like STAR, mainly from areas like Kentucky and Tennessee, where there are high levels of animal cruelty and an abundance of strays and abandoned pets.

“Up north, they’re really strict about spay and neuter and leash laws, and they just can’t believe in the south what we have to deal with down here, so that’s why they pull from Kentucky, Tennessee, even further south,” said Dacci. “The animal welfare laws are almost nonexistent in Kentucky. We’ve been voted last place for thirteen years for animal welfare and care.”

Caring for puppies is a nonstop job for Dacci, who has been working at STAR for around 15 years along with other volunteers who save between 600 and 1,000 animals like Aubrey, Jay and Sasha each year.

“Somebody has to come every morning and give medicine, clean, feed and then run dogs to the vet and pick them up from the vet, then come back in the night and repeat, give them food, give them medicines,” said Dacci. “Every Saturday a few of us get up at 3 a.m. to be here by four, let everyone out to walk and potty and put collars with name tags and stuff on them, then our driver leaves at 5:30 in the mornings.”

The Puppy Bowl gives the three dogs a chance to a better life after being rescued as strays.

“The one named Aubrey, she was dumped with 24 other dogs in a ditch,” said Dacci. “They were pretty scared to begin with, except for Jay. He was friendly. All of them were strays that were dumped somewhere, and the shelter picked them up.”

Aubrey, Jay and Sasha can be seen on Animal Planet and Discovery+ on February 7 at 2 p.m.

“They can see that they’re not just ugly mutts, that they’re cute and can make a nice family pet if given a chance,” said Dacci.

The Trail Blazer is online at: http://www.thetrailblazeronline.net