Take your dog to dinner in New York? Vote to decide

Health officials in New York have come out strongly against proposed legislation seeking to allow dogs into al fresco spaces of the city’s restaurants.

Controversy in New York over move to pass legislation allowing dogs into restaurant outdoor dining areas

Controversy in New York over move to pass legislation allowing dogs into restaurant outdoor dining areas Image by Franklin Heijnen / CC BY 2.0

The Department of Health wants politicians to vote ‘no’ because of the risks to both pet owners and employees of the establishments.

The Daily News says the officials stress that dogs could create a health risk in such an environment. A spokesman for the department, Mr Christopher Miller, said there was a health and safety threat to diners, staff and other dogs which was why they were urging rejection of the legislation.

Already passed in the state Senate, the new law would give restaurant owners the choice of whether or not to allow pet owners bring their dogs into outside eating areas.

However, Linda Rosenthal, the bill’s sponsor, described as “misguided worries” the Department’s concerns and emphasised that she would be pushing to have the measure adopted. She cited the case of California where the legislation was passed in 2014 with very little problems arising since. She said it was important for New York to recognise that this was already happening and with the introduction of laws, it could be better regulated.

The owner of the Blossum vegan restaurant chain in Manhattan, Pamela Blackwell, supported Rosenthal’s stance, and said that allowing dogs in outdoor areas of restaurants would be good for business. She said that New York was full of owners who already try to sit in restaurants with their pets.

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