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New York Senate Now Allows Dogs in Outdoor Dining Areas

No longer will dogs have to be tied up outside restaurants, thanks to dog-loving politicians.

Michael Leaverton  |  May 19th 2015


New York is getting very on board with allowing dogs to eat with their owners al fresco. This week, the New York State Senate approved a bill to allow dogs into outdoor eating areas, according to the New York Times. The bill didn’t just squeak by. It was approved it by a 60 to 0 vote. Now, the State Assembly is reviewing its own version of the same bill, and its sponsor, Assemblywoman Linda B. Rosenthal, is confident that it will pass as well.

Beagle via Shutterstock

Beagle via Shutterstock

Of course, there are regulations, but none look to be a significant impediment to allowing dogs to enjoy brunch (if at the feet of their owners, whimpering for bacon). They include:

  • Pet will be kept on leash.
  • Dogs will be given a separate entrance to keep them out of kitchens and the restaurant proper.
  • No doggy access to outdoor areas where food is prepared.
  • No communal water bowls.

We’re on board with all of those, though we would gently suggest, legislatively, to put a communal water bowl out front. Where’s your heart, New York State Senate?

“People consider dogs and other animals to be just another member of the family,” said Rosenthal, according to the Times. “When you sit down to dinner, it’s your husband, your partner, your wife, your kids, and your dog.”

Cats, is should be noted, are not a part of the bill. “Can a state be truly free when you can’t take your cat to a restaurant?” touted the headline on the Capital Confidential, an Albany Times Union blog. We will leave that argument to Catster, who is perhaps currently marshaling an argument. (Though, on second thought, we assume not. Much better to have a cat cafe.)

It won't look like this, but it's a start. Via Shutterstock

It won’t look like this, but it’s a start. Via Shutterstock

Restaurants will still have final say in whether your dog will be allowed on the outdoor premises, and there’s no telling who will open the doggy door.

It’s a calculation the restaurant owner will have to make,” Rosenthal told the Times. She sees it as being embraced or rejected. It “could make a restaurant’s popularity soar because people can bring their dogs with them,” she said. “Or they could lose customers.”

How did such a thing come about? Assemblywoman Rosenthal — a “big animal champion” according to the Times — gave all the credit to dog owners.

“People who have animals are the most prolific email writers and callers,” she said. “They’re persistent.”

And we love you for it.

Via the New York Times

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