VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. - Bear, a local puppy from the Virginia Beach SPCA, was voted the Most Valuable Pup by viewers in the 2018 Puppy Bowl.
"It helps get that message about there that you can get puppies at a shelter, you can get great great pets at a shelter. We're always trying to get the word out there it's important to adopt, not shop," said Mike Lawson with the Virginia Beach SPCA.
Bear came to the SPCA from rural North Carolina. His Mom was kept outside at all times.
"Even as a puppy, Bear wasn't allowed indoors. He came to us at about eight weeks old in July," said Lawson.
Just a month later, the Animal Planet reached out to the Virginia Beach SPCA saying they should submit some puppies to potentially be in the Puppy Bowl. The shelter submitted six dogs, three of them, Bear included, were chosen. The pups, along with SPCA staff, flew to New York for a busy, but tiring day of filming. However, the staff was under strict rules to not let anyone know which pups were selected for the puppy bowl.
Before Bear's fame, he was adopted. A family in Chesapeake wasn't quite sure if they were ready for another pet after the loss of their dog. However, upon seeing Bear, they changed their minds. Plus, Lawson said they have been great at keeping up with Bear's media appearances.
Lawson believes the Puppy Bowl is a great opportunity to showcase the incredible animals up for adoption at local shelters nationwide.