(RNN) - The Philadelphia Eagles Quarterback Michael Vick released a statement on Thursday saying he has a family dog, putting an end to the speculation.
Vick served federal prison time after being convicted of running an illegal dog fighting ring. While on probation - which ended in July - he wasn't allowed to own dogs.
"I understand the strong emotions by some people about our family's decision to care for a pet. As a father, it is important to make sure my children develop a healthy relationship with animals," Vick said. "I want to ensure that my children establish a loving bond and treat all of God's creatures with kindness and respect."
He continued, "Our pet is well cared for and loved as a member of our family. This is an opportunity to break the cycle. To that end, I will continue to honor my commitment to animal welfare and be an instrument of positive change."
Although this may cause a lot of controversy, Vick has had an outpour of support from his fans on Facebook.
Brian Holmes wrote, "Keep your head up Vick and keep that promise man."
Jami Newton also wrote, "Good for you guys. I think it's ridiculous people won't let the past stay there. You've done so much to make up for what you did wrong, and as an animal lover, and Pit Bull owner, I support you!"
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