Whether or not Michael Vick remains a Eagle, the team says it will continue to help the region's needy animals in the long term.

The team adopted animal welfare as a cause in 2009 following the controversial signing of Vick after his release from federal prison. He was convicted of running an illegal dogfighting ring.

"The commitment is continuing," an Eagles spokesman, Rob Zeiger, said last week.

The team has donated roughly $400,000 of the animal welfare fund's $500,000 to about a dozen area charities, said Zeiger, adding that "when we run through that, we'll revisit where we go." (Zeiger is no longer employed by the Eagles.)

Among the animal welfare programs the team has supported is the Humane Society of the United States' "Pets for Life" campaign, which promotes respect for animals among young people in urban neighborhoods.

Last month "Pets for Life" provided free vaccinations for 615 cats and dogs in North Philadelphia.

The team also is sponsoring a newly trained land-mine-detection dog through the Children Against Mines Program, which matches schoolchildren with working dogs throughout the world.

The fifth and sixth graders at John Wister School in Philadelphia were recently paired with a Belgian Malinois named "Little Swoop," and they are following his progress via online video chats with his handlers.

The Philadelphia Animal Welfare Society (PAWS) received $95,000 from the Eagles, most of which paid for construction of the group's low-cost veterinary clinic and shelter in Grays Ferry.

Since opening in March 2010 the clinic has served more than 30,000 pets, most belonging to low-income owners.

Executive director Melissa Levy said the Eagles' assistance had allowed the nonprofit shelter to open its clinic faster than it would have otherwise and to save animals' lives.

"In a city where rescue efforts and veterinary care for the neediest animals are so sorely needed, time is always of the essence," she said.

Vick has been working with the Humane Society of the United States, speaking out against dogfighting, including at the U.S. Capitol this year, where he advocated on behalf of legislation to toughen penalties for dogfighting.