NASCAR driver donates vests for K-9s
The Associated Press
INDIANAPOLIS — NASCAR driver Tony Stewart is donating bulletproof, stab-proof vests to police dogs in five states.
Stewart, a Columbus, Ind., native, donated the money to provide 30 vests for the Indiana State Police K-9 unit and 10 for police dogs waiting for vests in Georgia, New Mexico, North Carolina and Minnesota.
Susie Jean of Socorro, N.M., requested a grant from the Tony Stewart Foundation for vests for the 14 dogs currently in the Indiana State Police unit. Stewart upped the amount to cover more vests upon learning the state police unit was expanding to 30 dogs. The vests cost $695 each, according to Jean's website, meaning 40 vests would total nearly $28,000.
Jean founded Vest 'N P.D.P. (Police Dog Protection) Inc., a nonprofit that collects donations to purchase bullet- and stab-proof vests for police dogs. So far, the nonprofit has provided 169 vests to police dogs in 22 states, not including the Stewart donation.
"Police work dogs give everything they have in the service of mankind. How nice it is to be able to give them something in return," state police Superintendent Paul Whitesell said in a statement issued jointly Monday by the Tony Stewart Foundation and state police.
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Stewart will present the vests to state police Thursday at O'Reilly Raceway Park in Clermont, Ind.