PHILADELPHIA (CBS/AP) Does Philadelphia Eagles quarterback and convicted dog-fighter Michael Vick deserve a second chance at being a dog owner?
Vick seems to think so and is asking to bring a dog into his home - even though the terms of his parole specifically state that he is barred from owning a dog for a year-and-a-half.
The convicted dog-fighting ring operator, who spent 18 months in prison after being convicted in 2007, says he genuinely cares about animals and would love to have a dog as a household pet...again.
"I think it would be a big step for me in the rehabilitation process," he told TheGrio.com, a website that focuses on African-American issues. "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."
Unfortunately for the born-again animal lover, a federal judge overseeing Vick's case barred him from owning a dog during his three years of supervised release after prison, which does not end until 2012.
His latest comments to TheGrio.com have generated outrage, as well as support.
Many people believe that Vick, who has returned to the top of his profession, has redeemed himself and should be allowed to adopt or own a pet if he so chooses. On the other end of the spectrum are those who feel Vick should be banned from owning dogs for eternity.
Vick asserts that he is not a crazy person or a psychopath and that his criminal behavior was merely a product 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," he said. Vick continued, "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."