Steelers quarterback Michael Vick is making good on a promise that he would advocate for animal safety locally.
Vick is scheduled to meet with Pennsylvania lawmakers Tuesday in support of PA House Bill 1516, or the pets in cars bill, which would give cops authority to rescue dogs and cats from cars due to unsafe temperatures. The bill would shield first responders from liability for any property damage they cause when rescuing animals from unattended cars and trucks. The bill also would make it a summary offense to leave a cat or dog in an unattended vehicle in extreme heat.
“I know that I’m an unlikely advocate,” Vick said through a representative. “I was part of the problem. Now, my perspective can help reach people that activists can’t reach. I can help others become agents of change.”
Schoolchildren from Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, will accompany Vick to the state legislature to lobby the Democratic caucus, according to the spokesperson. Representatives Jake Wheatley Jr. and Ed Gainey will host the visit.
Vick was a star quarterback for the Atlanta Falcons when he pleaded guilty in 2007 for his role in a dogfighting ring and served nearly two years in prison. The Hampton, Virginia, native is now a backup quarterback for the Pittsburgh Steelers and, off the field, an advocate for animal welfare.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.