"It's really to give people an idea of the kind of animals that are in the shelter, the kind of animals that need homes," said Hoosier Park gaming manager Jahnae Erpenbach. "We feel like it's a natural fit with what we do here. Our horses are team members just like everyone else here, so we feel a responsibility to give back and help other animals."
Erpenbach said APL's limited budget also prevents the organization from honoring its volunteers and donors the way it should, so the casino moved in to offer a means for acknowledging them and raising money. She said the entire card Friday night was dedicated to APL.
"I can't say enough about how good Hoosier Park has been to us," Stringer said. "I really think a lot of people don't realize just how helpful they are to the community."
Stringer also said the shelter is currently inundated with dogs and especially cats. The organization took in dozens of stray felines over the summer and is trying to get them into good homes. Stringer asked anyone with room in their homes for a dog or cat to visit the shelter at 613 Dewey Street.
One of the dogs up for adoption that was at the park Friday was Tanner, a rat terrier with a healthy bark. The dog's owner died, so he was taken to the APL and is still looking for a home. Volunteers Jake Smith and Steve Duncan played with Tanner in the winner's circle after the volunteers were honored at the track.
"I try to help them out whenever I can," Smith said. "Anything we can do helps."
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