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"Unlikely advocates": Michael Vick lobbies for law to protect pets

HARRISBURG, Pa. -- Michael Vick is heading to the Pennsylvania statehouse to lobby legislators on a bill that would help protect pets left in hot cars.

Vick was a star quarterback for the NFL's Atlanta Falcons when he pleaded guilty in 2007 to being part of a dogfighting ring and ended up serving 21 months in prison.

He's now a backup quarterback for the Pittsburgh Steelers.

A Vick spokesman says he plans to meet with Democratic lawmakers Tuesday about legislation nicknamed the "Pets in Cars" bill. It would allow first responders to break into cars to rescue dogs or cats in distress without fear of being held liable for damages.

Since his 2009 release from prison, Vick has worked on a number of animal welfare issues.

As CBS station KDKA notes, the top of Vick's Facebook page now has a photo of the State Capitol and plea for fans to sign a petition. The page even addresses what some are thinking with a line that reads: "Unlikely advocates, together we will be agents of change."

Representative Jake Wheatley, a Democrat who represents the Hill District, is one of Vick's hosts in Harrisburg.

"This is another example of a person who has faced some adversity, paid his debt to society, and now wants to use that experience to provide some guidance for others so they don't have to make similar mistakes," said Rep. Wheatley. "I take my hat off to him."

Vick now has relationship with the Humane Society of the United States.