NEW HAVEN, Conn., Nov. 24 (UPI) -- NFL quarterback Michael Vick told Connecticut high school students his dog-fighting conviction was a divine warning against the practice.
The Philadelphia Eagles starting quarterback told students at Wilbur Cross High in New Haven Tuesday he was captivated with the dogs a man would bring by a barber shop when he was 10. "The most beautiful dogs in the world," Vick said. "I kept asking him to give me a dog."
When he was 20, he got one of the pit bulls, and soon found himself exposed to the practice of setting them against each other to tear themselves apart.
"One day, God said to me, 'What you're doing to these dogs is wrong and I'm going to punish you for it,'" Vick said. "And four days later I was indicted."
He was convicted and served 19 months in prison.
As he neared the end of his term, Vick contacted Wayne Pacelle, CEO of the Humane Society.
"I was skeptical," Pacelle said, "but Michael said he didn't just want to do a press release, he wanted to dedicate his life to this. ... And in the year and a half I have known him, he hasn't turned me down once."