Iowa Legislator Brings Dogs With Her to New Job

Looks like Iowa animal activists may have a new friend in the state legislature! Thanks to the for this article. New lawmaker wants her...


Looks like Iowa animal activists may have a new friend in the state legislature!

Thanks to the for this article.

New lawmaker wants her dogs with her in Des Moines

WATERLOO (AP) State Rep.-elect Tami Wiencek will have some company when she arrives in Des Moines for her first legislative session later this month her pet greyhounds, Sara and Pup pup.

Wiencek, a Republican, hasn’t nailed down dog-friendly accommodations yet, but she’s looking for a house that can accommodate her pets. She says it has been the hardest part of her orientation as a freshman lawmaker.

“I have a clerk, I have a laptop, I’ve even been introduced to the process of how to file a bill,” she said. “But I have to find where I can live with my dogs. They’re my family.”

Wiencek say she has one good prospect a friend in West Des Moines is willing to put her and her dogs up during the upcoming legislative session. But even there pet issues come into play. There’s some question whether Oscar, her friend’s cat, would adjust to the company.

“I have to take the dogs to her house to see if they’ll take to the cat,” Wiencek said.

Eastern Iowans may be familiar with Wiencek’s love of greyhounds. A former KWWL-TV news reporter/anchor, she adopted her first pair of the dogs when she was covering stories about Waterloo Greyhound Park in the 1980s.

“I do remember standing there watching the dogs racing and being fascinated with them,” she said. “One day, I decided I was going to adopt a greyhound, and I did.”

Two, actually. But that was a product of Wiencek’s schedule, she said.

“Because I was gone a lot, I felt it was good for them to have each other,” she said. “I keep them in my home. They’re really great pets.”

Wieneck’s first pair of greyhounds, Cinder and Cookie, were featured with her on holiday-greeting promotional commercials that KWWL aired one Christmas.

When Cinder and Cookie both passed on several years ago, Wieneck adopted Sara and Pup pup. Sara is named for in memory of Cinder’s racing name, Dilly Dilly Sarah.

Wieneck says she’s not too worried about fitting in. She said Iowa’s capital city is a very dog-friendly community, Wiencek said, with doggie drop-off day-care centers even available.

“They will be good even for me, to reconnect with at night,” Wiencek said. “They are wonderful, so appreciative of their home. They’re family. I could not part with them.”

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