Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Michael Vick has had trouble hanging on to the ball on the football field lately. Maybe it's because he has to get up in the middle of the night to let his dog out.
Last week, Vick tweeted a photo of himself and one of his children at a table. On the right side of the photo was an open box of Milk Bone dog treats. Vick later deleted the tweet and resent it with the dog treats cropped out, but Crossing Broad published the original photo on its blog.
After days of speculation among Philadelphia media, Vick issued a statement through his publicist saying that his family now owns a dog.
"I understand the strong emotions by some people around our family's decision to care for a pet. As a father, it is important to make sure my children develop a healthy relationship with animals. I want to ensure that my children establish a loving bond and treat all of God's creatures with kindness and respect. Our pet is well cared-for and loved as a member of our family. This is an opportunity to break the cycle. To that end, I will continue to honor my commitment to animal welfare and be an instrument of positive change."
The Eagles quarterback served 19 months in prison for his involvement in a dogfighting ring. Vick helped to fund an operation that trained pit bulls to fight and killed dogs that failed to perform. Under the terms of his probation, he was unable to own a dog but now he is free to do so.
In a 2010 interview, Vick had expressed a desire to have a dog again someday.
"I miss having a dog right now. I wish I could. My daughters miss having one, and that's the hardest thing: Telling them that we can't have one because of my action," he said.
Vick also said in the interview "if I ever have the opportunity again I will never take it for granted."
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