Michael Vick released a statement on Thursday confirming that he does own a dog. Speculation surrounding the issue began last week when a box of dog biscuits could be seen in a picture Vick had tweeted out to his followers. Controversy ensued because of Vick's history with dogs.
Vick believes owning a dog is important for the growth of his children, and for them to avoid repeating his mistakes, according to Bleeding Green Nation.
"I understand the strong emotions by some people about 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."
Vick served 19 months in prison for crimes connected to a dog-fighting ring. Vick admits to getting part of the proceeds from the ring and participating in the killing of dogs. During his probation, he was not allowed to own a dog, but has no such restriction anymore.
The Eagles quarterback has attempted to rehab his image and make amends for his past by supporting animal rights groups, including appearing in a commercial for the Humane Society. Vick also endorsed an anti-dogfighting bill last year.