LEGISLATURE BARKS TWICE TO PASS DINING WITH DOGS BILL

dining with pooch
Coffee for me. Champagne for my furry friend…Photo by Jeffrey Wade.

A bill allowing dog owners to dine with their pooches at outdoor tables has passed both the state assembly and state senate and is now sitting on the governor’s desk awaiting his signature to become law. In the meantime, we’ve already seen several customers dining with their pooches in just the past few days.

The man above was sitting last week outside French Roast Cafe at 85th street and Broadway. The new law, championed by local State Assemblyman Linda Rosenthal, would allow dogs onto outdoor patios or sidewalk cafes if the restaurant operator approves and the dogs are on a leash, among other conditions.

Some locals are clearly excited. “We will definitely bring Gumbo to the outdoor sections of dog friendly restaurants. She is part of our family,” wrote Rob Polishook, the owner of Gumbo, pictured below. “In Europe, California, and other states dogs are welcome. I never heard of anyone getting sick from a dog. Humans maybe but not dogs!”

Check out the full text of the bill below. We promise to bark once when it’s signed.

THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND  ASSEMBLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS:

    1    Section  1.  The  public health law is amended by adding a new section
    2  1352-e to read as follows:
    3    S 1352-E. COMPANION DOGS AT FOOD SERVICE ESTABLISHMENTS. 1.  COMPANION
    4  DOGS UNDER THE CONTROL OF A PERSON MAY BE ALLOWED IN AN  OUTDOOR  DINING
    5  AREA  AT A FOOD SERVICE ESTABLISHMENT IF ALL OF THE FOLLOWING CONDITIONS
    6  ARE SATISFIED:
    7    (A) THE OWNER OF THE FOOD FACILITY ELECTS TO ALLOW COMPANION  DOGS  IN
    8  ITS  OUTDOOR  DINING  AREA OR A DESIGNATED PORTION OF IT, AND SUBJECT TO
    9  ANY RESTRICTIONS THAT THE OWNER OF THE FACILITY MAY ESTABLISH;
   10    (B) A SEPARATE OUTDOOR ENTRANCE IS PRESENT WHERE COMPANION DOGS  ENTER
   11  WITHOUT GOING THROUGH THE FOOD ESTABLISHMENT TO REACH THE OUTDOOR DINING
   12  AREA  AND  COMPANION  DOGS  ARE NOT ALLOWED ON CHAIRS, BENCHES, SEATS OR
   13  OTHER FIXTURES;
   14    (C) THE OUTDOOR DINING AREA IN WHICH COMPANION DOGS ARE ALLOWED IS NOT
   15  USED FOR FOOD OR DRINK PREPARATION OR THE STORAGE OF  UTENSILS.  A  FOOD
   16  EMPLOYEE  MAY  REFILL A BEVERAGE GLASS IN THE OUTDOOR DINING AREA FROM A
   17  PITCHER OR OTHER CONTAINER;

        EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                             [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                                  LBD06812-07-5
       A. 5956--C                          2

    1    (D) FOOD AND WATER  PROVIDED  TO  COMPANION  DOGS  SHALL  ONLY  BE  IN
    2  SINGLE-USE DISPOSABLE CONTAINERS;
    3    (E)  FOOD  EMPLOYEES  ARE  PROHIBITED  FROM HAVING DIRECT CONTACT WITH
    4  COMPANION DOGS WHILE ON DUTY. A FOOD EMPLOYEE WHO DOES HAVE SUCH PROHIB-
    5  ITED DIRECT CONTACT SHALL WASH HIS OR HER HANDS AS REQUIRED BY LAW;
    6    (F) THE OUTDOOR DINING AREA IS MAINTAINED CLEAN.  SURFACES  THAT  HAVE
    7  BEEN  CONTAMINATED  BY  DOG  EXCREMENT  OR  OTHER BODILY FLUIDS SHALL BE
    8  CLEANED AND SANITIZED;
    9    (G) THE COMPANION DOG IS ON A LEASH OR CONFINED IN A PET  CARRIER  AND
   10  IS UNDER THE CONTROL OF THE COMPANION DOG OWNER;
   11    (H)  THERE  IS  REASONABLE  SIGNAGE INDICATING THAT COMPANION DOGS ARE
   12  ALLOWED IN THE OUTDOOR DINING AREA OR A DESIGNATED PORTION OF IT.    THE
   13  SIGNAGE  SHALL STATE THAT RESTRICTIONS ON COMPANION DOGS DO NOT APPLY TO
   14  GUIDE, HEARING OR SERVICE ANIMALS;
   15    (I) THE FOOD FACILITY OWNER ENSURES COMPLIANCE WITH  LOCAL  ORDINANCES
   16  RELATED TO SIDEWALKS, PUBLIC NUISANCE AND SANITATION; AND
   17    (J) SUCH OTHER CONTROL MEASURES APPROVED BY THE ENFORCEMENT AGENCY ARE
   18  COMPLIED WITH.
   19    2.  THIS SECTION SHALL NOT IMPAIR OR DIMINISH THE RIGHT OF AN INDIVID-
   20  UAL TO BE ACCOMPANIED BY AN ANIMAL WHERE  OTHERWISE  PERMITTED  BY  LAW,
   21  INCLUDING  BUT  NOT  LIMITED  TO  THE RIGHTS OF PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES
   22  USING GUIDE, HEARING OR SERVICE ANIMALS.
   23    3. FOR PURPOSES OF THIS SECTION:
   24    (A) "FOOD SERVICE ESTABLISHMENT" SHALL MEAN  ANY  BUSINESS  WHICH  HAS
   25  AREAS,  INCLUDING  OUTDOOR  SEATING  AREAS,  IN  WHICH  FOOD IS SOLD FOR
   26  ON-PREMISES CONSUMPTION.
   27    (B) "COMPANION DOG" SHALL MEAN  A  DOMESTICATED  DOG  ACCOMPANYING  AN
   28  INDIVIDUAL  OR  OWNER FOR THE PURPOSE OF COMPANIONSHIP OR CONVENIENCE OF
   29  SUCH INDIVIDUAL OR OWNER,  AND  SHALL  NOT  INCLUDE  GUIDE,  HEARING  OR
   30  SERVICE DOGS.
   31    S 2. This act shall take effect immediately.

gumbo the dog
Rob asks: ”Would you turn this dog down?”

Note: The dog at the top of this post may be a service animal, which would mean it is already allowed to dine with its owner.

FOOD, NEWS | 17 comments | permalink
    1. Miriam says:

      Great news. About time. Wish I still had a dog. 🙂

    2. Upper West Side Wally says:

      Well, there’s one chair / establishment to avoid….

    3. Soam says:

      This wasn’t already legal? Or am I missing something

      I take my dog all the time to brunches all over the UWS in outdoor seating and I see other people doing it constantly. Places like Elizabeths, Gabrielas, Mila Cafe, Jackson Hole etc. Just about any restaurant with outside seating.

      • Young Sally says:

        Technically dogs are currently allowed if they are OUTSIDE the magic canvas/picket fence/sidewalk barrier.

    4. Bill says:

      SECTION 1, LETTER B … “Dogs are not allowed on chairs, benches or other fixtures” Hmmmm … entitled much?

    5. whatsupduck says:

      It’s nice to see how the State Senate and Assembly have more sense than the board at 170 WEA.

    6. Bill says:

      Wow, great news. Pooch and I running over to 170 to take a pee and celebrate.

    7. Gretchen says:

      Great news for all dog lovers. Much prefer dining with dogs than with noisy, badly-behaved children who get a free pass.

    8. Mary says:

      Really? This is what the NY legislature thought was important to accomplish this session?

    9. Joey says:

      YEAH!!!!!!

    10. K says:

      I”m a dog owner who is super excited to eat at more restaurants with my dog. But I am so worried some dog owners will abuse this. Dogs need to stay on the ground and be leashed and well behaved (owners have that responsibility). Please, dog owners, just follow the rules — it won’t be respectful otherwise to other patrons or to the restaurant staff.

      • pjrod says:

        Nicely said K. I hope all or even most dog owners are like you. I fear they are not.

    11. Alex says:

      Thumbs down to the antichild poster. You’ll probably die alone with only your cats mourning your loss.

      With respect to the dog law, I like taking poochy to brunch, I hope all dog owners will keep them off the seats! How many owners wipe their pooches after a #2? 😉

      • Elizabeth M. says:

        Alex, I wipe my dog with baby wipes

        • Elizabeth M. says:

          Sorry, got cut off. I clean my dog with baby wipes after every #2. 🙂 This was recommended by my vet. But I would not let my dog sit on a chair at a restaurant. She sits on the floor next to me, quietly. I think most dog owners are responsible. I know I am.