Michael Vick pleads guilty to state dogfighting charge

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michael_vick.jpgConvicted dogfighter Michael Vick today pled guilty to a state dogfighting charge in Virginia, the Associated Press reports.

According to the AP, the plea makes the former Atlanta Falcons quarterback eligible for early release from the Kansas prison where he is currently serving a 23-month sentence on federal dogfighting charges.

It could also put him on the fast track back to the NFL. (The AP reports, “Federal law prohibits prisoners from being released to a halfway house if there are unresolved charges pending against them.”)

Vick was given a three-year suspended sentence after pleading guilty to a single count of promoting dogfighting (a second count, involving animal cruelty, was dropped). He told the judge: “I want to apologize to the court, my family, and to all the kids who looked up to me as a role model.”

There have been no reports that Vick made any apologies to the dogs he admitted to killing.

UPDATE: After news of Vick’s plea broke, our friends at Animal Planet decided to re-air their hit special episode of Animal Witness which details this horrifying case and the brave people who brought Vick to justice (as well as the amazing volunteers who rehabbed the dogs rescued from his compound). The show will air Thursday, Nov. 26 at 9 p.m. EST. Find out more about the show — and take the excellent Pit Bull Myths Quiz — on AnimalPlanet.com.

Previous entries:

Is it natural to fear pit bulls? And what can we do about it?

Rehabbing the Vick dogs and helping all pits

Giving a voice to dogfighting victims: Watch the video

Adoptable pit bull saves six abandoned kittens

A rescued bait dog: Incredible before & after photos

Don’t miss this slideshow about the Michael Vick dogs

Adopt a Yankee doodle doggie!