While New York dog owners celebrated this past October when Governor Andrew Cuomo signed a bill allowing pups to dine with their owners at restaurants, the city Health Department has proposed various rules and regulations that if approved could deter restaurant owners from allowing dogs in their outside area.
The department, which was opposed against the law passing, would require restaurant owners to check every dog to ensure the animal had proper license tags before giving them the thumbs up to be in the outdoor patio. Officials would also require restaurants to create barriers to keep the dogs separated from other patrons and dogs on the sidewalk, the pups could not be near any tables and must not be between the 36-inch aisle space between tables and signs must be present in the establishment stating companion dogs are only allowed in outdoor areas.
“Just because the city opposes this law does not mean they are allowed to neuter it through onerous regulation,” Assemblywoman Linda Rosenthal (D-Manhattan), who sponsored the measure in Albany, told NY Daily News.
Other people have voiced their concern, including journalist and advocate Jane Valez-Mitchell and Edita Birnkrant from Friends of Animals.
“It is killing the spirit of the bill in that it is making it virtually impossible for restaurants to allow people to bring their dogs,” Birnkrant told the outlet.
Officials at the Health Department countered these arguments, stating they just want to make sure restaurant owners have the information needed to protect patrons from health and safety concerns when a dog is present.
The public has until Jan. 26 to comment on the proposed regulations on the agency’s website. A public hearing in slated for Jan. 26 at the Health Department’s Long Island City office.
If you have something to say, here is where you can voice your opinion.
You can email the department at firstname.lastname@example.org. The chapter is Chapter 32 (Dogs in Outdoor Dining Areas) and Title is 24.
For more information about the Notice of Public Hearing, click here.
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