Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Michael Vick said he’s ready to own a dog again, but the U.S. Humane Society believes he should wait a little longer.
According to the Associated Press, Vick told NBC’s TheGrio.com that he genuinely cares for animals and he hopes to own another dog someday. Vick was jailed in 2007 for his involvement in a dog-fighting ring.
“I would love to get another dog in the future,” Vick told the Grio.com. “I think it would be a big step for me in the rehabilitation process. I think just to have a pet in my household and to show people that I genuinely care, and my love, and my passion for animals.”
Vick spent 18 months in prison and was released in 2009. A federal judge banned Vick from having another dog during his three years of probation following his release from jail, which does not end until 2012.
Leaders from the Humane Society spoke out about Vick’s desire to own a pet again, saying it’s too “early,” though they added it could be good move for the quarterback and his family after his probation is over.
“It’s too soon for Michael Vick to have a dog. Pet-keeping is a privilege and he lost that privilege when he committed atrocious acts of cruelty in the months and years before his arrest in 2007,” Humane Society President Wayne Parcelle said in a statement.
“I agreed with the judge’s ruling that he should not have a dog for at least a three-year period after his incarceration,” Parcelle said in the statement. “But the court did not decide to impose a lifetime ban, and based on the work for animals he has undertaken since his release from prison, I don’t believe he should be forever from adopting a dog for his two daughters.”
But the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals said they felt differently.
“Vick should be banned from owning dogs for life,” Jane Dollinger, spokeswoman for the PETA said, according to the AP. “Just as convicted pedophiles aren’t allowed free access to children, anyone who is responsible for hanging, electrocuting, or shooting dogs and who causes them to suffer in other unimaginable ways should never again be allowed access to dogs.”
Vick told CBS News that he is not crazy and the reason for his criminal actions was a result of his upbringing.
“What happened in my past and what I did in the culture I grew up in doesn’t shape and mold me as the person I am now,” Vick said during a CBS interview. “I said it before that I wish I can own a dog and I’ll continue to say it. I’m not allowed to, but I’m just saying I wish I could because my kids ask me every day. It’s more so for them than for me.”