PHILADELPHIA - Eagles quarterback Michael Vick said Thursday that he owns a dog.

Vick sent a photo on Twitter earlier in the week from his home that appeared to show a box of dog biscuits. While he declined to discuss the matter Wednesday, he sent out a statement through a publicist Thursday after practice.

"I understand the strong emotions by some people about our family's decision to care for a pet," Vick said in the statement. "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.

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"To that end, I will continue to honor my commitment to animal welfare and be an instrument of positive change."

Vick and wife Kijafa have three children: son Mitez and daughters Jaden and London. Vick joined the Eagles in 2009 after serving 22 months in a federal prison on charges relating to dog-fighting.

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