Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Michael Vick is on the interview circuit promoting his new book, Finally Free. Vick describes the tome as "a feel-good book, very inspirational" and focuses a lot on his arrest and conviction for running a violent dogfighting ring .
The book tour comes at the end of the NFL player's parole for the conviction — and everyone wants to know if he'll get another dog now that he's legally able to.
"I would love to get another dog in the future. I think it would be a big step for me in the rehabilitation process," he told NBC Nightly News. "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. 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."
This is hardly good news for animal lovers — especially those that cared for and adopted his abused dogs. PETA has taken it a step further and issued a statement condemning Vick's desire to own pets.
"PETA knows from firsthand experience that Michael Vick is a selfish man and a proven liar, probably a psychopath, who, if he had one grain of remorse, would never go near another dog as long as he lives," founder Ingrid Newkirk told SheKnows in a statement.
"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 at the Bad Newz Kennels."
Vick met with Newkirk after his 2007 arrest for a day-long animal empathy course at PETA headquarters. PETA officials were initially hopeful after he expressed disgust and pain at animals abused in a dog fight.
"I watched Michael grimace while watching this footage, in the way that any normal person would," PETA wrote in a blog post. "At another point, the video shows a young person hanging a live cat from the ceiling and stabbing the animal to death with a knife. At this point, Michael closed his eyes and turned his head from the screen, seemingly disturbed by what he saw."
However, that hope changed after Vick's promises seemed like little more than lip service to get his NFL job back.
"PETA will refuse to be a part of a public service announcement that may simply be a public relations ploy from a convicted felon trying to manipulate his way back into the NFL. We hope that the NFL will take the same approach."
Now they just want him to stay away from pets, period.
"Just as convicted pedophiles aren't allowed free access to children, anyone who is responsible for hanging, electrocuting, and shooting dogs and who caused them to suffer in other unimaginable ways should never again be allowed to be within 50 feet of a dog," Newkirk said.
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