CNN Wire Staff
(CNN) - The head of one of America's biggest animal protection organizations said Thursday that Michael Vick, who served prison time for his role in a deadly dogfighting operation, should have the opportunity to bring a dog home - in due time.
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Humane Society President Wayne Pacelle told HLN's Jane Velez-Mitchell that the Philadelphia Eagles quarterback shouldn't get a pet immediately and should have to meet certain milestones whenever he does. But Pacelle, whose group has worked with Vick in public outreach efforts, said that it would be wrong to close the door to his ever having a dog again.
"He's been going through counseling, he's been speaking to kids twice a month, and he needs to interact with animals," said Pacelle. "If he continues to hit these markers, then if his daughter wants a dog two or three years down the line,... I'm saying that we should be open to that possibility."
Under the terms of his conviction, Vick is currently barred from owning an animal. But the Newport News, Virginia, native this week told The Grio, a news website focused on an African-American audience, that he would "love to have another dog in the future."
"I think it would be a great step in my rehabilitation process," Vick said. "Just to have a pet in my household and show people that I genuinely care, (to show) my love and my passion for animals, I think, would be outstanding."
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