HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) – NFL quarterback Michael Vick met with several lawmakers at the Capitol on Tuesday to show his support for legislation that would protect animals.
“I know that I am an unlikely advocate. I was part of the problem when I was at my lowest. I made a decision to make change and I stand by that now that I can reach people that activists cannot reach,” Vick said.
House Bill 1516, known as the Pets in Cars bill, would give police officers the right to remove a cat or dog left alone in a hot car.
“It allows officers to break the window if they need to rescue an animal and they don’t need to feel responsible for the damage that is done,” Vick said.
Some question if his appearance at the Capitol was sincere or a publicity stunt. Vick, who spent time behind bars for a dogfighting conviction, says he has learned from his mistakes.
“It just changed me as a man. I am thankful I was able to move on from it and affect a lot of people as far as turning everything around and bringing awareness to this,” he said.
Vick, the backup quarterback for the Pittsburgh Steelers, has a petition supporting the bill on his Facebook page. He is asking his 5 million followers to sign it so he can present it to lawmakers.
Seventeen other states have “hot car” laws for pets. House Bill 1516 is currently in the House Judiciary Committee.