Michael Vick is probably not the first name that comes to mind when you think about advocates for animal rights, but the Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback is making a real effort.
Vick has essentially been demoted to Pittsburgh’s third-string quarterback after a few ugly performances early in the season and a hamstring injury that followed. He’s now leading the scout team during Steelers practices.
It’s good to know that he’s using his time productively even though he’s not seeing the field much.
According to a report by Jacob Klinger at Penn Live, Vick spent some time in Pennsylvannia’s capitol this week in order to push legislation known as House Bill 1516, which would make it legal for first responders to break into cars where dogs and other pets are threatened by heat without getting sued:
“The bill has been stuck in the House Judiciary Committee since September. Vick met with the Democratic caucus but said the proposed legislation has bipartisan support.”
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During his trip to Harrisburg Vick also spoke with local children about preventing animal cruelty. It’s not the first time that Vick has gone to bat for the issue, either.
Back in the summer of 2011 Vick pushed Congress to make penalties harsher on dog fighting operators who profit from the sport as well as the spectators who show up. Vick’s main focus seems to be on keeping kids away from the events and teaching them that it’s not ok to enjoy a such a spectacle.
Vick spent 18 months at the federal prison in Leavenworth, Kansas for his role in a dogfighting ring. He admitted to torturing and killing between six and eight animals personally. Since he was released in 2009 though he has been a staunch ally of groups who are intent on ending animal cruelty.
While it does not erase the terrible crimes that Vick committed back in the day, he does deserve credit for using his past and celebrity to do something positive about it.