Philadelphia Eagles' Quarterback Michael Vick, who spent two years in prison for illegal dog fighting, has been spotted attending dog training classes at a New Jersey PetSmart store.
Vick has been taking "Angel," his female Belgian Malinois, a breed of shepard, to classes, Philly Sports blog Crossing Broad
In October, Vick announced he was a dog owner again, releasing a carefully crafted statement on the sensitive issue.
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"This is an opportunity to break the cycle," the statement said, according to Crossing Broad. "To that end, I will continue to honor my commitment to animal welfare and be an instrument of positive change."
Photos have surfaced of the NFL player posing with some of the pet store's employees. Crossing Broad has not released the store's exact location so that Vick can continue to attend the classes without being harassed.
Belgian Malinois have a reputation as a military working dog, and the Navy SEALS who killed Bin Laden had one with them at the time of the raid, TMZ reported.
Vick, who reportedly killed and abused dozens of dogs as part of a ring that involved drugs and gambling, was charged with two counts of conspiracy by a federal grand jury in 2007
; one to travel in interstate commerce to engage in unlawful activity and another to engage in dogfighting. He pleaded guilty to both charges and was sentenced to 23 months in prison.
He was released in May 2009. In August 2009, the Philadelphia Eagles signed the fallen player to a one-year contract with a one-year option, providing him with what was essentially a tryout and a chance for him to get back into the NFL, according to the New York Times.
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President Barack Obama commended the Eagles for giving Vick a second chance.
A White House spokesman said that Obama “condemns the crimes that Michael Vick was convicted of, but [thinks] that individuals who have paid for their crimes should have an opportunity to contribute to society again.”
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