(NEW YORK) — Is Michael Vick going to get dogged about the latest addition to his family?
The Philadelphia Eagles quarterback, who served nearly two years in jail for running an illegal dog fighting operation in which numerous canines were brutally killed, is admitting that he and his family own a new dog.
In a statement released by his PR firm, Vick said, “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.”
While Vick has completed his probation and is allowed to own a pet, many animal lovers still have not forgiven him for running the dog fighting ring or the way some of the dogs were killed if they failed to win their death matches.
However, since being released from prison and returning to football, Vick has been an outspoken advocate of animal rights, visiting schools and giving speeches to promote the cause.
Questions were first raised last week about Vick owning a dog when he tweeted a picture of himself and his daughter with a box of dog biscuits in the corner of the photo.
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio
Madison Park, Keith Allen and Andreas Preuss, CNN
Eric Levenson, CNN
Sandra Gonzalez, CNN