Pittsburgh Steelers defensive lineman Stephon Tuitt donated a horse to Pittsburgh police on Friday.
Tuitt, whose mother was a deputy sheriff in Atlanta, donated Spirit, a Shire draught horse.
"I always grew up in the police department, so to be able to do this — it's huge to have a horse representing the people going out to risk their lives every day," Tuitt told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Tuitt added that his three-year-old son named the horse after the one from the movie "Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron."
Spirit, who was initially found at a farm in Port Jervis, N.Y., was thought to have been abandoned by a couple "who either died or moved into a nursing home." Spirit spent time with a veterinarian technician that took him in before he was purchased by a buyer in Pittsburgh, according to said Shannon Leshen, the officer Spirit has been assigned to.
After budget cuts in 2003, Pittsburgh police announced this year that mounted units would return to the city this year. Spirit, the second horse added to the city's mounted unit this year, will serve as a reminder of Tuitt's giving spirit and his desire to give back to the Steel City.