For the third year in a row, Operation Education Animal Rescue will be represented by local puppies in the upcoming Puppy Bowl on Animal Planet.
Based out of Christiana, Tenn., and serving the East and Middle Tennessee areas, Operation Education Animal Rescue specializes in adoptions based on medical situations. Dog fights, car accidents and various sicknesses are just a few of the cases typically considered by the organization, and the at-risk animals are adopted out to loving families upon reaching a stable condition.
The rescue operation is no stranger to Animal Planet’s Puppy Bowl, the animal-centered network’s canine version of the Super Bowl that airs on the same day as its football counterpart. This year, five dogs from Operation Education will be featured on the show as they play, compete and have each of their stories shared on TV. Lucky, a black, three-legged rat terrier mix, and Daphne, a brown and white pit bull mix, will be featured on the show’s starting lineup and will be seen often during game day footage. Lucky’s sibling Rickey, Daphne’s sibling Stevie and a chocolate lab mix named Della will be seen as backup players during the event.
Shelly Thorburn, the co-director of Operation Education, said Lucky was the perfect fit for this year’s Puppy Bowl. Thorburn said the show was looking for three special-needs dogs, and after reviewing Operation Education’s submissions, they chose Lucky to be one of the three competitors.
Back in October, the five dogs had to make a trip to New York City for filming to begin after they were chosen to compete. It took both plane and car to get them there, but Thorburn and Operation Education founder Tiffany Galyon traveled with the puppies to supervise the process. Lucky, however, got a special visit herself from Animal Planet.
“Animal Planet came to Lucky’s house to conduct more of a background story on her since she’s special needs,” said Thorburn on the three-legged competitor. “But they’re all rescue dogs, so they all have a story,” she added, referring to both the other dogs representing Operation Education in the game, as well as all of the others the organization has up for adoption.
And each of the dogs competing certainly does have a story. Lucky and Rickey were found together in a box on the side of the road and quickly hid under a nearby deck, resulting in the entire deck having to be deconstructed to get to them. Daphne and Stevie were born in a shelter, so the entire family was rescued in order to give the newborns a better environment given their age. Della came to Operation Education after Della’s mother’s owners were unable to pay for a C-section, a process that the rescue organization covered for the animals.
When it comes to adopting the pets, Operation Education ensures that each goes to a loving and suitable home as they guide adopters throughout and after the process. Each pet to be adopted is guaranteed to be up to date on all vaccinations, spayed or neutered and microchipped. The adoption process also includes a six-week training program with Heather Moore of Murfreesboro’s Wag It Better. The mandatory training program gives adopters and pets a time to practice their communication in a helpful environment that creates long-lasting bonds and smooths the transition into a new home.
The nonprofit group currently runs on donations in order to make sure at-risk dogs find good owners. They evaluate calls and situations on a case-by-case basis by considering factors such as distance, space and funding.
To contact Operation Education Animal Rescue, be it for adoption or donation purposes, they can be reached at email@example.com. For more information about their organization, the adoption process and how you can help, visit opedanimalrescue.com. And be sure to watch Lucky, Daphne, Rickey, Stevie and Della in the Puppy Bowl on Animal Planet on Feb. 5 at 2 p.m.