OAKLAND, Calif. -- A Bay Area pit bull advocacy group says Michael Vick has declined an invitation to visit eight of his former dogs this weekend when the Philadelphia Eagles are in town to play the Oakland Raiders.
The group BAD RAP (Bay Area Doglovers Responsible About Pitbulls) told The Associated Press on Wednesday that it extended the invitation through the Eagles to Vick last week to view his former dogs that were part of the dog fighting operation at Bad Newz Kennels in southeastern Virginia.
BAD RAP co-founder Tim Racer said the group picked a location that would have allowed Vick to view the dogs from behind a window at a distance that satisfied the conditions of his parole that bar him from being near animals.
Racer said the Eagles informed him Wednesday that Vick would decline the offer. An e-mail sent to an Eagles spokesman was not immediately returned.
"We understand Vick is trying to right his wrongs and is very interested in redemption, but you can't find redemption without acknowledging your victims," Racer said. "Making amends to the dogs themselves would have helped to create some closure for many of us, especially those people who worked so hard to keep them from being destroyed. It seems that Vick is not ready to go there."
Oakland-based BAD RAP absorbed 10 of Vick's dogs into its foster program after being given permission from the federal government to evaluate and rescue as many of the dogs as possible.
Sunday's game against the Raiders is the first road game for Vick since being reinstated to the NFL following an 18-month prison sentence for his involvement in a dogfighting ring. A spokesman for the animal rights group, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, said it has no plans to protest the game.