Protestors in Dubuque against greyhound racing - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Protestors in Dubuque against greyhound racing

DUBUQUE (KWWL) -- Protestors stood outside Mystique Casino Saturday afternoon to speak out against greyhound racing.

This was William Kalinak's first protest against dog racing.

"I started looking into it, and what I found was so disturbing, here we are," Kalinak said. "I'm not an activist - at least not up until today."

Kalinak said he and his wife adopted two greyhound dogs a couple of months ago, which inspired him to look further into the matter.

"I did some investigating on my own, and I didn't like what I found," Kalinak said.

He said he learned greyhound racing tracks in other states have poor living conditions for the dogs, though he does not know whether that's the case in Dubuque.

Mystique did not return the multiple phone calls from KWWL over the course of Friday and Saturday, but Kalinak's greatest fight might now necessarily even be against the casinos.

In a February 2010 article, Mystique president and CEO Jesus Aviles told KWWL's coverage partner the Dubuque Telegraph Herald that, from a business standpoint, eliminating dog racing could save the casino the millions of dollars in now pays annually to supplement the sport.

Greyhound breeders and kennel-owners told the Telegraph Herald they were concerned what banning dog racing would do to the economy, citing, among other factors, tourism dollars and the loss of jobs within the industry.

Legislation proposed this past January could have eliminated dog racing from Iowa casinos had that passed. Iowa's other dog park is Bluffs Run Greyhound Park, located at Harrah's Horseshoe casino in Council Bluffs.

Still, Kalinak said his protest is not the first effort to raise awareness in Iowa and it won't be the last.

"There'll be an effort here to get Iowa to ban greyhound racing," Kalinak said.

Kalinak's protest came just days after the governor of New Hampshire signed legislation banning dog racing in that state. Iowa is one of only seven states now that still allow commercial dog races.

Online Reporter Becca Habegger

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