NORFOLK, Va. (AP) -Michael Vick was attentive and inquisitive during an eight-hour class in empathy and animal protection at People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals headquarters, a PETA spokesman said Tuesday.
Dan Shannon was with the suspended Atlanta Falcons quarterback for the duration of the class, taught by several PETA staff members. Vick is scheduled to be sentenced Dec. 10 on a federal dogfighting conspiracy conviction. He also has been indicted on state dogfighting charges.
Vick was the only student for the Sept. 18 class, Shannon said.
``He was asking questions, following up on points we were making, taking notes,'' Shannon said. ``He seemed to be putting an honest effort into trying to get something out of the course.''
Shannon said Vick told him ``he wished he had gotten to take a course like this five years ago.''
Vick first visited PETA's offices in Norfolk on Sept. 7 and met with Ingrid Newkirk, the group's president. According to PETA's Web site, Vick apologized for his abuse of dogs.
Newkirk offered to make the course available to Vick, Shannon said.
``Actually, we were very surprised he took us up on it,'' he said. ``We made it clear to him that this was something he needed to try to get something out of. We weren't interested in some kind of PR ploy.''
He said PETA officials also told Vick they still believe he deserves prison time. Vick faces up to five years in prison in the federal case.
Shannon said Vick passed a ``very rigorous'' written test at the conclusion of the course.
PETA wants the NFL to require the course, or one like it, for all players, Shannon said.
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