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HomeGeneralPup Who Stole the Show at the Puppy Bowl 2024 Passes Away...

Pup Who Stole the Show at the Puppy Bowl 2024 Passes Away From Kidney Illness

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A picture of Sweet Pea, the tiniest pup at the 2024 Puppy Bowl
Source: USAToday/X

Born on July 1, 2023, Sweetpea was the tiniest puppy to ever participate in the Puppy Bowl. Born in Tennessee and raised in Georgia, Sweetpea passed away on November 20, 2023, due to a deformed kidney. Jennifer Siegel, the animal director at Bosley’s Place, confirmed.

According to Siegel, she died unexpectedly on her way to the hospital for a check-up. “Sweetpea lived a charming life,” Siegel said. “She was very loving. Everyone loved Sweetpea.” The animal director added, “We knew when she came to our rescue, she was going to be a medical nightmare.” 

However, Siegel said they made sure they took care of her well. “We made sure we gave her the best life possible with her short life expectancy,” Siegel said. Sweetpea had hydrocephalus, a neurological disorder caused by a buildup of cerebrospinal fluid in the brain’s cavities from birth. 

According to Bosley’s place, she also had a hole in her heart. “She arrived to our rescue on her deathbed,” Siegel said. “I started doing medical diagnostics and testing. When she was about four weeks old.” Despite her challenging condition, Siegel noted they could only do little since Sweetpea was too tiny.

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However, as she grew, Siegel said they did more tests. “We did more and more ultrasounds and echocardiograms,” the animal director said. By the time Sweetpea turned eight weeks, things started to get better. Siegel said the hole in her heart closed up on its own. 

Around that same time, in September, they selected Sweetpea to be in the Puppy Bowl 2024. Although they filmed the Puppy Bowl in October 2023, it aired on February 11, 2024, Super Bowl Sunday. According to Animal Planet, this year’s Puppy Bowl was the 20th edition of the event.

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The program reportedly reached over 13 million viewers last year. While speaking to news outlets, Siegel noted that during the Puppy Bowl production, she knew Sweetpea would steal hearts. According to Animal Planet, at 1.7 pounds, Sweetpea became the tiniest puppy to compete in the Puppy Bowl. 

Afterward, on November 5, 2023, Sweetpea worked the kissing booth for Bosley’s Birthday Bash, the rescue’s annual fundraiser. Siegel said the tiny pup kissed hundreds of people at the event, raking in over $26,000. A few weeks after the fundraiser, a tragedy happened. 

The rescue’s animal director was taking Sweetpea to her first check-up with the University of Georgia when she died. The tiny pup’s death came as a shock to Siegel and the shelter as Sweetpea wasn’t sick. However, an autopsy revealed that she passed away from deformed kidneys and couldn’t process protein.

ALSO READ: Man Adopts Nearly a Dozen Oldest Dogs After His Dog Passed

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“Sweetpea had a great life and brought a smile to thousands of people’s faces,” Siegel said. When the Puppy Bowl aired on February 11, Siegel said she watched privately. The animal director said she knew it would be an emotional day. “It was heartbreaking and heartwarming at the same time,” she said.

After the Puppy Bowl aired, Sweetpea gained much fame as viewers fell in love with her. However, many didn’t know she had died. Hence, the news came as a shock when Animal Planet posted it on social media.

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