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Michael Vick owns a dog

After spending 18 months in federal prison in a dogfighting case, Michael Vick has decided to get a dog as a family pet.

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

“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.”

After Vick was released from prison in 2009, he began working for the Humane Society to speak out against animal cruelty.

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Vick was banned from owning a dog while he was on probation for a three-year period following his release from prison.

“This is an opportunity to break the cycle,” Vick said. “To that end, I will continue to honor my commitment to animal welfare and be an instrument of positive change.”

The Humane Society declined to comment.

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