Vick to speak out against dog fighting in New Haven

Fresh off another win for the Eagles, quarterback Michael Vick turns his attention to animals today.

Vick is scheduled to address nearly 4,000 students at two high schools in New Haven, Conn., as part of the Humane Society of the United States' anti-dog fighting campaign.

Vick has made at least two dozen appearances before students groups in at least five cities, including Philadelphia, since being released from federal prison 16 months ago for running an illegal dog fighting ring.

"I'm excited," said Wayne Pacelle, the Humane Society's president and a New Haven native and Yale alumnus. "His remarkable success on the football field will amplify his voice in a more dramatic way. To his credit, he's ready to go."

The Humane Society and Vick entered into an agreement last year that he would speak out against animal cruelty and promote kindness to animals to student groups twice a month. Pacelle said Vick has been "very willing" to participate, but scheduling conflicts have limited the number of appearances he has made.

"We hope to get back on track next month," said Pacelle. "Mike has demonstrated that commitment. Now he needs to continue to march forward on the dog fighting campaign."

Pacelle said New Haven, like most cities faces, an uphill battle combatting dog fighting and that Vick can reach audiences the Humane Society cannot.

"Dog fighting is a problem everywhere," said Pacelle. "Kids get pit bulls for the wrong reason." Students today will hear from Vick and watch videos promoting positive activities for young people and their dogs and the humane treatment of animals.