Vick confirms he now owns a dog

Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Michael Vick, whose career and freedom were derailed by a dogfighting scandal, has confirmed he owns a dog.

“I understand the strong emotions by some people about our family’s decision to care for a pet," Vick said in a statement released to on Thursday. "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 made the statement a day after he was asked whether he owned a dog.

Vick served 19 months in prison for financing a dogfighting operation and part of the terms of his probation was that he was forbidden from owning a dog for the first 18 months after his release.

Vick signed with the Eagles in August 2009 — weeks after his release from prison — and later ascended to the starting job.