The state passed a law last year allowing people to eat with their pets at outdoor cafes in the city. But the city’s Department of Health has issued proposed rules that could effectively nullify the law, says state assembly member Linda Rosenthal, who sponsored the law and spoke at a hearing about the rules on Tuesday. Rosenthal’s press release noted that she is “Rabid Over Proposed Regs that will Neuter Dining with Dogs Law.” Really, it did. So don’t blame the puns on us.
Among other requirements, the city wants food establishments to certify that dogs they allow into outdoor cafes have been vaccinated and registered with the city. But Rosenthal says only 20% of dog owners comply with these rules, and asking untrained staff to check dog tags “is foolhardy.”
“DOHMH has proposed that untrained food service establishment staff check the validity of rabies vaccination tags and licenses. Consider a popular restaurant during peak weekend brunch or lunch hours on a mild spring afternoon. The host or hostess is working to seat dozens of patrons, both in and outdoors, and in addition to triaging all manner of patrons’ reasonable and unreasonable requests, will now also be required to get down on hands and knees to check licenses and vaccination tags. This is simply ridiculous.”