(KNBC) - It took Barbara Hitchman 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.
The hood of his car now features Lily's photo with the caption: "Stop Animal Cruelty. Protect the Innocent. Be their Voice."
Barbara is thrilled about the help she's getting and hopes the NASCAR support extends beyond raising awareness about animal cruelty.
The man accused in Lily's death has bonded out of jail, and is awaiting a possible trial for his felony charges.
The NASCAR race in which Lily will be honored is in Arizona on Saturday April 14th.