On Wednesday, Eagles quarterback Michael Vick declined to answer a question about whether he owned a dog. But on Thursday he released a statement confirming that his family recently got a dog. "I understand the strong emotions by some people about our family's decision to care for a pet," Vick said in a statement released by his publicist. "As a father, it is important to make sure my children develop a healthy relationship with animals. "I want to ensure that my children establish a loving bond and treat all of God's creatures with kindness and respect. 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." Vick was not allowed to own a dog during a three-year probationary period after he served 19 months in jail for owning and operating a dogfighting ring.