Michael Vick, who was banned by the judge who sentenced him on dogfighting charges from owning another dog while on probation, says he misses being a dog owner and would like to have one as a pet someday.
The Philadelphia Eagles quarterback, interviewed by NBC News and the website TheGrio.com, said he and his family miss having a dog. He said he wants to show people that he can be a responsible pet owner and that he would not take the opportunity for granted.
"I would love to get another dog in the future. I think it would be a big step for me in the rehabilitation process," Vick said, according to NBC News and TheGrio.com. The full interview was scheduled to be shown on TheGrio.com on Wednesday.
"I have been around him a lot, and feel confident that he would do a good job as a pet owner," Wayne Pacelle, president of the Humane Society of the United States, told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution on Wednesday.
As part of Vick's probation, he can't buy, sell or own a dog. And some of his critics believe that arrangment should be permanent.
"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," said Lisa Lange, vice president of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. "All things considered, it is a very small price to pay, especially compared to the suffering endured by the dogs who were abused and killed in the Bad Newz Kennels."
On Tuesday at a Philadelphia-area charter school, where Vick was speaking out against dogfighting, he was asked if he would return to the Eagles next season.
"I would hope so," Vick said, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer. "A lot of things have to happen. A lot of things have to take place. ... But hopefully I'm a Philadelphia Eagle next season."
Vick has led the Eagles to a share of the NFC East division lead and resurrected a career many thought was all but over after he went to federal prison for funding a dogfighting ring. The operation trained pit bulls to fight and killed dogs that did not perform well in training sessions.
Vick told NBC News and TheGrio.com. that he wants to show that that part of his past is behind him.
"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; I think it would be outstanding," Vick said in the interview. "If I ever have the opportunity again I will never take it for granted.
"I miss having a dog right now. I wish I could. My daughters miss having one, and that's the hardest thing: Telling them that we can't have one because of my actions," Vick said in the interview.