February 24, 2024
Local beagle to raise awareness for shelter pets during Puppy Bowl

NORWALK, Conn. (WTNH) – “She likes to play with me. We like playing tug of war. We love playing outside,” said Grayson Viesto about his spirited beagle mix, Lainie, who joined his family in August.

She’s become the perfect companion to two kids and an older dog who all had gone through a tough time.

“One of our dogs passed away a while ago and Clover was lonely and we thought it would be nice for her to have another puppy friend,” said Grayson.

Mom Kimberly was also recovering from a rare ankle fracture.

“It was an excellent step for my rehabilitation because we were then walking together as a family,” she said.

When they adopted the puppy from DAWS, the Danbury Animal Welfare Society, they learned a very special fact!

Lainie is appearing in the Puppy Bowl, coming up next month!

14 Conn. puppies to compete in Puppy Bowl XX

“That’s pretty cool, I think,” said Grayson’s sister, Audrey.

“It’s exciting, everyone gets very excited, it’s a very busy day, you go from activity to activity – lots of photo shoots then playtime,” said Katie Mothersele, director of operations at DAWS. She accompanied Lainie and three other pups to the taping in New York.

The fun show – featuring adorable shelter dogs playing football – raises awareness about rescue pets.

“Everyone needs an animal in their life, I’ll tell you that right now,” said Mothersele.

“Yeah it’s very important because they need a chance to have other owners and be loved,” said Audrey.

The Viestos are planning a viewing party on Feb. 11th. Grayson plans to cheer on his pup!

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“It’s such a rare opportunity and odd! I have an injury that could have ended an NFL player’s career and now I have a puppy going to play football,” said Kimberly.

They’re super proud of little Lainie and are thrilled to inspire others to consider visiting a shelter when adding a pet to the family.

“We really lucked-out, she’s quite the perfect little hound and we love her very much,” said Kimberly.

The Puppy Bowl airs several places including Animal Planet, Discovery+ and TBS.