Vick tells NJ kids he wants a dog 'more than anything'

The Michael Vick Redemption Tour landed in Newark, NJ this week where the convicted dog fighter told a crowd of young people that he wishes he could have a dog again "more than anything in the world."

Say what? Vick may put a puppy on his Christmas list, but under terms of his probation he may not own a dog.

Speaking to an audience at a Boys and Girls Club on Tuesday, Vick told the children he was "naive" when he got into dog fighting as an 8-year-old on the streets of Newport News, Va., but that he "should have known better."

It was the first time in the roughly half dozen appearances in five different cities that Vick appeared to have acknowledged the pain he caused to untold numbers of animals that he confessed to torturing.

"I should have known better," Vick said during his 15 minute speech, according to the Newark Star-Ledger. "(Animals) have pains, they have feelings and they have emotions."

He told the children the reports of the cruel treatment he inflicted on dogs, including hanging dogs and slamming dogs to the ground when they lost in the fighting ring, were true except for the electrocution. "That never happened," he said.

Vick has been speaking out against dog fighting since he completed his federal prison sentence last summer and began a partnership with the Humane Society of the United States.

On Monday he returned to his hometown, speaking to middle schoolers in Newport News. He told them to learn from his mistakes and to treat animals with respect.

The Philadelphia quarterback - who has been met by protestors and fans alike at home and on the road - makes his first foray to his former team's turf this weekend when the Eagles take on the Atlanta Falcons.

Michael Vick tells Newark kids to protect animals