New York will allow dogs to dine Marni Turner, and her 10-year-old Poodle "Dougie," visit at an outdoor cafe on New York's Upper West Side. New York’s pooches will be able to venture onto restaurant patios under a new state law that will allow restaurants to open their outdoor dining areas to canine companions. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)
New York will allow dogs to dine
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Dogs may now venture onto restaurant patios. That's because a new state law in New York allows restaurants to open outdoor dining areas to them.

The measure was signed into law by Democratic Governor Andrew Cuomo. States including California, Florida and Maryland have similar laws.

Dog lovers and many restaurant owners in New York support the idea. They note that pooches must be leashed and restaurants could choose to keep them out of outdoor eating areas. While health officials expressed worries, Cuomo said the law's "firm health and sanitary guidelines" strike the right balance.

"This action will give restaurants an additional option to boost revenue...by appealing to this new audience of dog-owning New Yorkers and their four-legged friends," Cuomo said.

Dog owners are delighted.

"I think this speaks volumes to where we are as a society. Most people with dogs view them as members of the family," said Kim Wolf. Kim is a New York City dog owner. Kim works for an organization that helps people in poor neighborhoods care for their animals.

Restaurateur Michael O'Neal said he hopes the legislation will settle any uncertainty about bringing dogs to his Boat Basin Cafe, in Manhattan's Riverside Park. Dog owners often stroll through and sometimes stop in with their pets.

"In a park or in a sidewalk cafe, people should be allowed to have their dogs," O'Neal said Tuesday.

But health officials disagree.

The state Association of County Health Officials opposed the legislation this spring, saying it was "deeply concerned" about biting, sanitation and bringing "additional public health risks into food service establishments where none need exist."

But the association's members will follow the law, Executive Director Linda Wagner said.

As a Manhattan dog owner, Evelien Kong is enthusiastic about doggie dining, but she understands those who aren't.

"Maybe there's a happy medium," such as having dog-friendly and dog-free sections of restaurant patios, Kong said Monday night while walking her 8-year-old Shih Tzu, Gracie. "There has to be a healthy, mutual respect for both sides."

The bill's sponsor, Assemblywoman Linda Rosenthal, D-Manhattan, said "99.9 percent" of people she's spoken with support the measure.

"Once in a while you hear, 'I'm never going to go to restaurants that allow dogs,'" she said. "That's the beauty of the bill: The restaurant owner gets to choose."

Legislation intended to help New York's cats didn't fare so well. Cuomo vetoed a proposal to fund groups that trap and neuter feral cats and then release them back into the wild. In the veto, he noted that releasing wild cats is technically illegal and that feral felines threaten local wildlife such as birds.

A recent Siena College poll shows dog owners may have more political clout anyway. The survey found that 57 percent of New Yorkers consider themselves "dog people," while 17 percent call themselves "cat people."

Overall, 30 percent reported having a dog, 20 percent live with a cat and nearly 10 percent own at least one of each.

Cuomo has neither, but his girlfriend, chef Sandra Lee, has two cockatoos.

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CRITICAL THINKING QUESTION
How does this new law help restaurants?
Write your answers in the comments section below


COMMENTS (64)
  • taylorp-1-bar
    11/02/2015 - 07:13 p.m.

    This new law helps resturaunt by providing dog owners with the ability to bring their dogs into a resturaunt with them, which helps them provide more business. On paragraph five it says,"Dog owners are delighted." This gives proof that dog owners will now probably go to those resturaunt because they will allow their dogs, or their family, eat with them. This would give those resturaunt a more business with a dog-friendly policy. I liked this article because, as a dog owner and lover, I would also enjoy a resturaunt which supports the canine family.



  • erickh1-sch
    11/03/2015 - 08:56 a.m.

    The new law will help restaurants by allowing people to bring in their pets so the people don't have to have someone watch it while they're gone.

  • gonzalez-pantojaa-rob
    11/03/2015 - 09:46 a.m.

    It will make the owners now eat their dogs and enjoy each other. Now the dog owners wont have to let their outside alone while they are gone.

  • amayagranadosl-rob
    11/03/2015 - 09:47 a.m.

    The new law about the people bringing their pets to the restaurants is a wonderful idea.This way people can take their pets to eat with them and it helps their pets get closer to them. Now dogs don't have to be alone in their homes. Now they can be with their owner.

  • centenoc-rob
    11/03/2015 - 09:48 a.m.

    i think that it would help because they owner of dogs can take their dogs to eat with them and don't have to leave them at home.

  • barnettr-rob
    11/03/2015 - 09:48 a.m.

    it gets the restaurants more money because people have to come by and go in. People love that they can bring there animles. This will good for peolpe to get out and walk ther dog.

  • drewh-lam
    11/03/2015 - 08:20 p.m.

    I think that this is a great idea because it lets people who are single and have a dog actually go out to eat somewhere without worrying about what there dog, because might get into something and make a disaster at your house while you are eating. The other good part about this is that is allows people who are allergic to dogs still be able to go to that restaurant and not have to deal with there allergies.

  • aderholdm-rob
    11/04/2015 - 09:47 a.m.

    Since more people are dog people it could attract new customers which is good for the buisness.

  • aderholdm-rob
    11/04/2015 - 09:51 a.m.

    Since more people are dog people it could attract more customers which is good for their business.

  • allyb-ver
    11/04/2015 - 06:51 p.m.

    This article is about a new law has been pasted in New York. This law is on that dogs are now aloud to dine with you. I think this will help businesses because they can but stuff on the menu for the dog so they will get more business. I would love to bring my dog to eat with me.

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