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Michael Vick is attending dog-training classes

Jay Busbee
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Via Crossing Broad.

So here's where you get to learn just how much you believe in the power of redemption and paying debts to society. Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Michael Vick has been spotted at a New Jersey-area PetSmart store, getting his dog trained.

Vick, as you may have heard, got into a bit of trouble involving dogs a few years back, serving almost two years in prison on charges related to illegal dog fighting. Since then, he's tried to make his way back to a respectable NFL career, and his tenure at Philadelphia has been decent if not necessarily earth-shattering.

Last fall, he released a statement acknowledging that he once again owned dogs. And now, courtesy of the Philly sports blog Crossing Broad, comes word that he's training his dog Angel, a Belgian Malinois, at a New Jersey-area PetSmart. Various tipsters saw Vick at the store, and as you can see at right he took the time to pose with an employee (who presumably does not wear that white circle on her face around at all times).

Look, in and of itself this isn't a big deal; a guy wants to get his dog trained, good for him. But Vick's canine history completely upends this entire story. Should he be permitted to own a dog? Hasn't he paid his debt to society for his crimes? If he's going to own a dog, isn't it a good thing that he's getting it properly trained? Answer these questions for yourself, friends. As Vick put it in his statement last fall:

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.

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.

He said all the right things. Meantime, if we were Vick, we'd be more worried about what's apparently about to happen to his shiny white Nikes there.

-Follow Jay Busbee on Twitter at @jaybusbee.-

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