SAN FRANCISCO (The Blaze/AP) — Michael Vick and the Humane Society said on Monday that an application built to run on Google Inc.'s Android software glorifies dogfighting.
The app is called "Dog Wars" and lets players feed, water, train and fight their virtual dogs against others.
"Raise your dog to beat the best!" the games slogan goes according to Foxnews.com.
"I've come to learn the hard way that dogfighting is a dead-end street," Vick said in a statement posted on the Humane Society's website. "Now, I am on the right side of this issue, and I think it's important to send the smart message to kids, and not glorify this form of animal cruelty, even in an Android app."
The app is by Kage Games, whose website features an illustration of a pit bull with a bloody muzzle next to the 'Dog Wars' logo.
A website where the app can be downloaded stresses that it is only a video game. "Perhaps one day we will make gerbil wars or beta fish wars for people who can't understand fantasy role play games," it says.
"We DO NOT CONDONE violence towards animals or humans, and we are confident in humankind's ability to distinguish between a rudimentary game and the consequences of real life," Kage Games said in a written statement issued Monday evening.
Foxnews.com says the group claims the app will be a "net benefit" to dogs since part of the proceeds will go to animal rescue groups.
Human Society President Wayne Pacelle said, however, the game could be used as virtual training ground for would-be dogfighters.
"Android should drop 'Dog Wars' from its online market and join the national movement to save dogs from this violent practice," Pacelle said in a statement.
Foxnews.com explains how the game works:
In "Dog Wars," the gamer selects a player and a dog and then sets off to earn street cred while dodging police heat. One of the characters in the game is labeled "The Athlete" -- and with his red football jersey and helmet, he is clearly intended to represent Vick. (The real Vick noted in his statement that he now is "on the right side of this issue.")
Vick was once the NFL's highest-paid player but was arrested in 2007 and convicted on dogfighting charges, for which he served 18 months in federal prison. He returned to the league in 2009 and is now a star quarterback for the Philadelphia Eagles.
Despite the backlash, Kage Games is sticking to its mantra, arguing its game doesn't violate the Android Market terms of service: "Further, this is a satire about the ridiculousness of dogfighting and we believe in the power of a modern media tool to educate and raise awareness of the real horrors."
Google did not immediately respond to the AP's messages seeking comment.