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Vick Must Pay $1 Million to Dog Rescues

By Rose Gordon

Atlanta Falcons quarterback Michael Vick, who pled guilty to conspiracy dog fighting felony charges, was sentenced to 23 months in jail today.

Under the terms of the conditions, Vick will remain on probation for three years after his release and is banned from purchasing, possessing or selling any dog.

Vick must also make payments totaling just under $1 million directly to animal rescue organizations, including the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), Best Friends Animal Society in Utah and the SPCA of Monterey County, which aided the care and rescue of pit bulls and other dogs involved in the dog fighting ring.

According to multiple media reports, Vick apologized to his family, teammates and fans after his sentencing at the U.S. District Court in Richmond, Va.

Judge Henry Hudson also recommended Vick attend substance abuse treatment and serve out his term in a facility in the Tidewater, Va., area.

Atlanta Falcons owner and chief executive officer Arthur Blank made a statement after Vick's sentencing was announced.

"This is a difficult day for Michael's family and for a lot of us,including many of our players and fans who have been emotionally invested in Michael over the years," he said.

Vick was suspended indefinitely from the NFL.

Since the Vick case began this summer, several pet product companies have capitalized on pet owners' anger by selling anti-Vick paraphernalia.

Shelters and animal welfare groups, such as PETA, the ASPCA and the Humane Society have used media attention to spotlight dog fighting and other issues of concern to a wider audience. <HOME>

Posted December 10, 2007, 5:05 p.m., EST

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