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Vick presses Pennsylvania for animal protection

HARRISBURG, Pa. — NFL quarterback Michael Vick got the celebrity treatment as he visited the state Capitol on Tuesday to lobby for a bill to help protect cats and dogs from being left in unattended vehicles.

The bill would shield first responders from liability for any property damage they cause when rescuing animals from unattended cars and trucks in extreme heat that endangers their health and well-being.

Leaving a cat or dog in an unattended vehicle under such conditions would be a summary offense under the bill.

"The bottom line is that all animals thrive (on) kindness and respect. They depend on us like our children depend on us," said Vick, a backup quarterback for the Steelers.

Dozens of fans applauded Vick as he joined several legislators at a news conference and crowded around him afterward seeking autographs and selfies.

Vick was a star quarterback for the Falcons when he pleaded guilty to federal conspiracy charges in 2007 for his role in a dogfighting ring. He served nearly two years in prison. He has played in seven NFL seasons since, including five with the Eagles; this is his first season with Pittsburgh.

The Hampton, Va., native has become a public advocate for animal welfare since his release from prison.

Jaguars stadium upgrade: Jacksonville's City Council approved a $90 million project to upgrade EverBank Field, home of the Jaguars. The council voted 19-0 to move forward with plans to renovate club seating and build a state-of-the-art indoor practice facility as well as a 5,000-seat amphitheater on the property. Team owner Shad Khan and the city will split costs, with the city's portion coming from funds identified solely for use at the sports complex. Construction is scheduled to begin in January after the TaxSlayer Bowl. The stadium also annually hosts the Florida-Georgia game. Completion of club renovations is expected to be done before the Jaguars' first preseason game. The amphitheater and indoor practice facility are scheduled to be done early next fall.

Murray upset, report says: DeMarco Murray told Eagles owner Jeffery Lurie that coach Chip Kelly broke promises to the running back, ESPN reported. Murray reportedly told Lurie that Kelly promised to change his offense to accommodate Murray, who led the NFL in rushing with 1,845 yards with the Cowboys but has just 569 yards in his first season with Philadelphia.

49ers: Tight end Garrett Celek was placed on season-ending injured reserve because of a high left ankle sprain.

Bears: Tight end Martellus Bennett will miss the rest of the season because of a rib injury.

Broncos: Third-string quarterback and former Florida State standout Christian Ponder was waived. He had been signed as insurance with Peyton Manning injured.

Giants: Long snapper Zak DeOssie (wrist) was put on injured reserve, ending his streak of consecutive games at 140.

Jets: Defensive end Mike Catapano went on season-ending injured reserve with a foot injury and the team promoted safety Ronald Martin to the active roster.

Vick presses Pennsylvania for animal protection 12/08/15 [Last modified: Tuesday, December 8, 2015 9:54pm]
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