Party of Four –Legged? AKC Supports NY Bill to Allow Dogs in Outdoor Dining Areas

Sidewalk cafes and restaurants with outdoor dining patios in New York may soon become dog-friendly if proposed legislation supported by the American Kennel Club becomes law. The New York Senate recently passed Senate Bill 4327, which would give food service establishments the option of allowing customers to bring their pet dogs onto outdoor dining areas.

Participating restaurants would be required to comply with a number of health and safety requirements including providing a separate outdoor entrance for guests with dogs; prohibiting dogs from being on chairs, benches, seats and other fixtures; and following specific sanitation and cleaning procedures. Dogs must be under the control of the owner and either on a leash or in a pet carrier. 

Senator Kemp Hannon, sponsor of S 4327, testified in favor of the bill and asked legislators to “take a step forward to have a person’s best friend with them as they dine.”  The bill passed unanimously in the Senate. 

The next step in the legislative process will be approval of S 4327 by the Assembly Health Committee, followed by a vote by the full Assembly.  New Yorkers are encouraged to ask committee members and their state assemblymembers to vote “yes” on S 4327 and its companion bill, A 5956.

“New Yorkers love spending time with their dogs. This bill provides a wonderful opportunity for responsible dog owners and travelers in New York to enjoy outdoor dining with their well-behaved dogs,” said Sheila Goffe, AKC Director of Government Relations. 

The proposed law would not affect persons with service animals. Under the Americans with Disabilities Act, privately owned businesses that serve the public are required to allow persons with disabilities to bring their service animals onto business premises in areas where customers are generally allowed.