New York Outdoor Cafes May Allow Canine Patrons
Dogs may soon have the right to sit at outdoor cafes, thanks to a bill going through the New York Senate.
The bill is being looked over on May 14, and if passed, would allow pet parents to sit with their dogs at the outdoor portion of restaurants, so long as the dining establishment approved it.
Senate Health Committee Chairman Kemp Hannon (R-Nassau County) noted that many residents of the Empire State have dogs, several of whom would appreciate a canine companion while eating out. Luckily, some restaurants are receptive to this idea.
Before the bill goes into action, it still needs to be approved by the Assembly. The new legislation would change current health laws in the state by allowing animals into areas where food is served.
Hosting dogs at a restaurant may pose less health concerns than one might assume. According to a study from 2013 published in the Journal of Environmental Health, having dogs present in an eating area did not put people's health at risk. Of course, this does not consider those who may be allergic to dogs.
Pet parents and their dogs will have to go through a separate entrance than other restaurant goers. However, the dogs can be served food and water in a disposable dish. While they dined, all dogs would need to be in a carrier or on a leash.
New York is not the first state to consider a bill like this. California also approved a bill that allowed dogs at outdoor restaurants. Some in New York government, such as Manhattan Assemblywoman Linda Rosenthal, hopes the legislation will be approved before the end of the month.
Rosenthal believes that eating establishments opening their doors to canines will be very beneficial and give pet parents the opportunity to bring their dogs to one more place when they leave the house.
However, the bill does have some opposition, most notably from Assemblyman Richard Gottfried. According to the New York Post, the lawmaker is concerned that this may allow dogs to eat off of patrons' plates, even those who may not be pet parents. Gottfried is also concerned that it may override strict local laws, so he would rather allow the municipalities to decide.
Since its implementation in California, the Sunshine State has not experienced any problems
Aside from restaurants, there are plenty of retail places that allow dogs. According to BarkPost, these include Lowes, Home Depot, Banana Republic, Gap, Barnes and Noble and Anthropologie to name a few.
If the bill passes, it may inspire other states in the nation to follow suit. In the meantime, New York residents will be able to freely enjoy meals with their dog at any restaurant of their choice, giving many one more way to hang out with their beloved canine.