Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Michael Vick, who served 18 months in prison on dogfighting charges, confirmed this week that his family has a pet dog, which isn't sitting well with some animal rights activists who say he should never be allowed to.

Vick said in a statement:

"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." Since being released from prison in 2009, Vick has worked with the Humane Society to speak out against animal cruelty. He was banned from owning a dog until completing his probation period.

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