Fans were not allowed to attend the 2020 Indianapolis 500, so on an off day between qualifying and the race I decided to invite two race fans to take a socially distanced walk with me and dogs from Animal Care Services in Indianapolis who needed to find adoptive homes. It was wonderful to have a moment to interact with fans who we’d been missing so much at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, and it always brings a smile to my face to spend time with dogs. This year Norman hasn’t been able to travel to the races as often due to COVID-19, so I was craving quality canine time after two weeks away from him.
Indianapolis Animal Care Services works tirelessly to promote the health, safety and welfare of pets living in Marion County. They brought four amazing dogs out for our walk: Vin Diesel, Kipo, Kya and Google. It was an absolute blast to spend time outside walking with these angels and brightening their days with some time away from the kennel. Right This Minute covered our time together, which you can watch here: https://www.rightthisminute.com/video/race-car-driver-simon-pagenaud-fills-charity-work-upcoming-indy-500
Incredibly Animal Care Services shared that all four dogs found a permanent adoptive home BEFORE the Indianapolis 500 - just four days after our walk! To think that those kind spirited, loving dogs are now enjoying their forever homes warms my heart. I love the opportunity to use my platform to bring awareness to animals in need in all the race markets we visit. Growing up, I think caring for a dog teaches important lessons in responsibility. Also, I feel that an animal’s love has been very comforting during the COVID-19 pandemic when we have all felt isolated.
It’s our duty to repay animals for the immense joy they bring to our lives, and I hope Vin Diesel, Kipo, Kya and Google are chasing balls and squirrels all day long in their new homes!