New York will allow dogs to dine
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 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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How does this new law help restaurants?
Write your answers in the comments section below

  • sheridanm-6-bar
    11/05/2015 - 10:11 p.m.

    This new law helps restaurants by bringing in more customers who want to dine with there dogs. In paragraph 4 it states that restaurant owners have an option to boost revenue. This gives proof that the restaurant owners will be benefiting from the new law. I found this article interesting because I rarely see people bring their dogs out to eat.

  • oliviaw-4-bar
    11/05/2015 - 10:24 p.m.

    New York's recent law assists restaurants and local businesses as it allows dogs to accompany their owners at restaurants––providing more business for the restaurant. In the article, Governor Andrew Cuomo stated, "[The new law] will give restaurants an additional option to boost appealing to this new audience of dog-owning New Yorkers and their four-legged friends". Given this opinion from the governor of New York, we can assume that most of the population is in agreement of the new, canine-friendly law.
    I find this new law to be appealing as well as satisfying a need that many dog-owners are familiar with. I think it would be extremely helpful to not only people with dogs but beneficial to restaurant owners to pass this law in more states. I found this article to be enjoyable and informative.

  • theaw-4-bar
    11/05/2015 - 11:38 p.m.

    This new law helps restaurants by creating more business. People will be able to bring their dogs with them when they eat, making them feel more at home when they're not at home. Kim Wolf, a New York City dog owner considers her dog a member of the family. She supports this new law. I liked this article a lot because as a dog lover, I am very supportive of this idea.

  • avab-4-bar
    11/06/2015 - 12:12 a.m.

    This new law helps by providing dog owners to take their dogs to dinner with them and it help the business with more customers.

    I found this article interesting because I would think that this wouldn't happen because some dogs are not friendly and may be loud at dinner and disturb other people without their dogs.

  • madelinew-1-bar
    11/06/2015 - 12:18 a.m.

    This new law, which allows dogs to eat with their owners in restaurants, may essentially help many restaurants. For example, if someone were walking their dog and suddenly wanted to grab something to eat, they'd probably rather eat somewhere where they could take their dogs with them rather than have to leave them outside. Also, in paragraphs 6, it talks about how many people consider dogs as "members of the family." Would you leave one of your family members outside in the cold while you ate in a nice warm restaurant?
    I think this article was interesting. My aunt has a dog that she considers "her baby" so I can relate to this story. I wish it had talked a little more about the contents of the bill, though. Other than that little thing, I thought the article had a lot of really good information.

  • tessf-6-bar
    11/06/2015 - 12:36 a.m.

    This new law helps restaurants because they will attract dog owners. People who own dogs may have not found time to take their dog out, so bringing it to a restaurant that allows dogs will be easy and convienent. I agree with the article when it states that dog owners will be delighted. Restaurants may get more consumers, however I do see sides that oppose this idea. If dogs are not behaved and jump on people or try to eat their food, it may repulse people. Also, many dogs like to wrestle with other dogs, so that could be dangerous in an eating area. Overall, I support this idea though I see both sides, and I am glad that restaurant owners get to choose to have this option or not.

  • brookem-1-bar
    11/06/2015 - 01:55 a.m.

    This new law helps restaurants because it appeals to dog owners, and about 40% of New Yorkers reported having a dog, or both dog and cat. Some people walking their dog might stop by the restaurant to eat.

    I found this surprising the government hasn't already passed this rule yet.

  • noahf-3-bar
    11/06/2015 - 10:54 a.m.

    This new law helps restaurants attract customers who do have dogs opening them up to a new source of revenue. On paragraph five it says "Dog owners are delighted" this proves that dog owners do enjoy this new law and will most likely go to these restaurants. I thought this article was interesting due to the contrast between those supporting the new law and those that aren't.

  • batiar-3-bar
    11/07/2015 - 10:10 p.m.

    This new law will help restaurants because people with dogs will be more comfortable and bring their dogs to the restaurant increasing sale. In a new survey Siena College took a poll about what people think of dogs, in the end it was proven "57 percent of New Yorkers consider themselves "dog people," while 17 percent call themselves "cat people.'" Unfortunately they will not be doing the same with cats because they are considered wild and would be hazardous to the natural life around, such as birds. I like this article because I thunk that is good for the dogs to let out to the public, the restaurants will increase profit with the dog owners, and most importantly the owners will be glad of this new law.

  • madisons1-buc
    11/09/2015 - 10:07 a.m.

    This law has both pros and cons. A pro that comes with this law is that owners of dogs don't have to leave their dogs alone to go get some food to eat and they will be able to enjoy spending time with their dog even more. A con though that comes with this law is some people may be allergic to a certain type of dog and may led to an allergic reaction, but that's not to common, and another though that is common is when a dog is dirty or just not fully clean can make the restaurant dirty and a little unsanitary. But those are just the pros and cons, and my opinion on this is that it is a good law that was made because I'm a dog person and I would love it.

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