A day after declining to say whether he owned a dog, Michael Vick released a statement Thursday confirming that his family had obtained one.

“I understand the strong emotions by some people about our family’s decision to care for a pet,” the Eagles quarterback said in a statement released by his publicist. “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.”

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Last week, Vick tweeted a photograph of himself with his daughter seated at a table, presumably at home. To their right was an open box of Milk-Bone dog biscuits. The tweet later was deleted and replaced by a similar photo without the Milk-Bone box.

Several days later, the Eagles quarterback was asked to explain the photos.

“I’m here to strictly talk about football,” Vick said Wednesday at the NovaCare Complex. “What goes on in my personal life is not to be talked about. What’s most important right now is the Philadelphia Eagles and getting the win Sunday.”

Vick was not allowed to own a dog during a three-year probationary period after his release from prison. He served 19 months for owning and operating a dogfighting ring and an additional two months of house arrest after his release in May 2009.

He had spoken openly about wanting to own a dog and in July told CNN’s Piers Morgan that he did not want to deprive his daughters of having the pet because of his crimes.

* What do you think about Michael Vick owning a dog?

article courtesy of Philly.com

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