PHILADELPHIA, Oct. 12 (UPI) -- Eagles quarterback Michael Vick, who was convicted of owning and operating a dog fighting ring, says his family recently got a pet dog.
A day after declining to answer whether he owned a dog, Vick released a statement Thursday confirming his family has in fact obtained a dog, the Philadelphia Inquirer reported.
"I understand the strong emotions by some people about our family's decision to care for a pet," Vick 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," the statement said. "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's dog ownership came into question last week after he tweeted a picture of himself and his daughter seated together at a table presumably at home. Also featured in the picture was an open box of Milk-Bone dog biscuits.
The picture was later deleted and replaced with a similar one that did not have the Milk-Bone box in it.
"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 barred from owning a dog during a three-year probationary period following his release from prison. He served a 19-month sentence for owning and operating a dog fighting ring and an additional two months of house arrest following his release in May 2009.