Quarterback Michael Vick of the Pittsburgh Steelers
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In 2007, Michael Vick pleaded guilty to his role in a dogfighting ring and served two years in prison. Vick’s road to redemption hasn’t been easy, but he’s now a Pittsburgh Steeler, as well as an animal-welfare advocate.

On Tuesday, Vick visited the Pennsylvania Capitol to lobby for legislation to help protect cats and dogs from being left in hot vehicles. Vick was showing his support for Pennsylvania House Bill 1516, which would not hold first responders liable for any property damage in the event that an animal had to be rescued from a locked car. The same bill also includes penalties for pet owners who leave their animals in locked cars in extreme heat.

“I know that I’m an unlikely advocate,” Vick said. “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.”

Vick has been adamant about fighting for animal welfare and supported the Animal Fighting Spectator Prohibition Act in 2014.

“All animals require kindness and respect,” Vick said. “They depend on us like children depend on us. Many animal-welfare bills across the nation do not get enough attention to pass. We can change that.”