New York Law! (You can Take Your Dog Out to Dinner)

Following a new bill signed into law by Governor Andrew Cuomo, New York restaurant owners are now allowed to have dogs on their outdoor patios.

Starting immediately, restaurants are permitted to let customers and their dogs into their outdoor dining areas. This new law only applies to restaurants with alternate entrances to these outdoor areas that keep dogs out of the indoor dining areas and the kitchen or other food preparation areas.

This law was approved on Monday by Gov. Cuomo, in addition to 39 others, overturning an ordinance in New York state’s health code which prevented non-service dogs from entering decks and patios of New York restaurants.

Despite this step forward for doggy dinner companionship, a number of guidelines must be followed, including placing appropriate signage indicating that pets are allowed, and all dogs must be leashed. Furthermore, dogs cannot sit on chairs or other fixtures, and single-use containers must be used to feed dogs if they are served.

Owners are also obligated to clean up if their dogs go to the bathroom as well: according to the law, “Surfaces that have been contaminated by dog excrement or other bodily fluids shall be cleaned and sanitized.”

This bill has not come without controversy, mostly due to its approval alongside the veto of a bill for a state program that would trap, neuter and release stray cats. According to Cuomo, these kinds of programs “are not guaranteed to reduce feral cat populations. And even if they do [they] may take many more years to do so than existing programs.”

Regardless of how you feel about the vetoing of that bill, the doggy-dining law is a breath of fresh air for those owners who want to take their best friend out for brunch on a lazy New York morning.

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