Apr 9, 2012, 10:49 AM EDT
Jack Sellers may be the first driver to compete in a NASCAR race with a chihuahua painted on his car (research ongoing). It will happen next weekend at the NASCAR K&N Pro Series race at Havasu 95 Speedway, Lake Havasu City, Ariz., as Sellers will pay tribute to Lily, a pet chihuahua who was killed by a golf-club wielding man in Menifee, Calif. Sellers, from Sacramento and a longtime animal advocate, is dedicating the race to Barbara Hitchman’s pet dog. The hood of his car now features Lily’s photo with the caption: “Stop Animal Cruelty. Protect the Innocent. Be their Voice.”
It only five minutes to find her dogs that had wandered down the street, but, to her horror, she found one of them dead.
A neighbor told her a man stuck the dog with a golf club, killing her.
The Chihuahua’s name was Lily, and the suspected incident that led to her death in January has inspired a long-time NASCAR driver from Sacramento to race in her honor.
“This heinous crime was just, justice has to prevail,” said Jack Sellers, NASCAR driver. “I’m afraid that without this campaign that we’re having here, that it would be just set aside.”
The man who killed Lily said he hit the dog with the golf club because it had tried to bite him. According to a statement on Sellers’ web site, witnesses said that Lily’s attacker wound up and struck the dog as if he were driving a ball on the golf range. He was about to hit it again when neighbors intervened. The man was arrested, and then released on $5,000 bond. He’s awaiting possible trial on felony animal abuse charges.
Barbara is thrilled about the help she’s getting, and though she’s trying to move past the incident, even adopting two Chihuahua’s, she hopes the NASCAR support extends beyond raising awareness about animal cruelty.
“I want proper justice,” Hitchman said. “I don’t want him getting away with murder.”
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