Bill Allowing Dogs in Outdoor Dining Areas Passes in Albany

Bill Allowing Dogs in Outdoor Dining Areas Passes in Albany

Bill Allowing New Yorkers to Dine with their Dogs Passes Assembly, Now Heads to Governor’s Desk

New York, NY – Assemblymember Linda B. Rosenthal (D/WF-Manhattan) today announced that her legislation to allow New Yorkers to dine with their dogs in outdoor restaurants just passed the Assembly and now heads to the Governor’s desk for signature.

“It’s a dog-eat-dog world for New York restaurants, and this bill will help to give those that opt in a leg up against the competition, said Assemblymember Linda B. Rosenthal.  “Given all the bad news coming out of Albany these days, it’s nice to pass something that actually puts a smile on New Yorker’s faces.” 

The bill, which was sponsored in the Senate by Kemp Hannon, Chair of the Health Committee, passed that house unanimously this week.  It would give restaurants the opportunity to let customers bring their dogs into outdoor dining areas, currently prohibited by law, though a common practice throughout New York despite it being illegal.  

“I am thrilled to learn that the NY Assembly has passed the Dining With Dogs bill,” said Pamela Blackwell, Blossom Restaurants, NYC.  “Being a restaurant owner of nine years and a lifelong New Yorker it is encouraging to know that we are progressing in this way. There is no doubt in my mind that restaurants will benefit greatly from the passing of this bill, and that countless New Yorkers will be thrilled as well.  I have every faith that Governor Cuomo will give the bill the final push that it needs!”

Social Compassion in Legislation, a California-based animal advocacy group, worked closely with Assemblymember Rosenthal to pass this legislation.  The group was responsible for California’s successful campaign to legalize dining with dogs in that state several years ago.  

“Social Compassion in Legislation is thrilled to see the state legislature take a stand for dogs and their owners. We are confident the law will see the same success here in New York as it has in California,” said Nickolaus Sackett, Legal Counsel for SCIL.

The bill also has strong health and safety standards in place and allows local departments of health, such as the New York City Department of Health, to regulate the practice as well.  

“People have been dining with dogs all over Europe for years and in California for the last year, and to date, these jurisdictions have not seen an increase in dog bites or complaints related to the dogs,” said Assemblymember Linda B. Rosenthal. “Here in New York City, we already live side by side with our canine family members.  This bill addresses public safety while also recognizing that there is a desire among New Yorkers to bring their dogs to dinner.”

Allison Hansen, Editor at BrooklynforPets.com, “We are so excited that the Assembly listened to New Yorkers and voted in favor of the Dining with Dogs bill! We can't wait to welcome our canine pals to outdoor dining spaces. It's an amazing step, and we hope Governor Cuomo signs it into law in time to enjoy the beautiful New York City summer!”

In addition to support from animal lovers, this bill also found support from advocates for people with disabilities.  After the bill was amended to require participating restaurants to post signage to clear up any confusion regarding the access rights of people with disabilities who rely on service dogs, the disability community coalesced in support of the dining with dogs bill.

Cissy Stam of NY Area Assistance Dogs said, “People with disabilities with services dogs have historically had recurrent issues gaining access to places of public accommodation with these service dogs. These access problems are humiliating, time consuming sometimes frightening and prevent us from having the same rights and privileges as persons without disabilities.

The signage is clear and helps both the public and the restaurant operator understand our rights and that service dogs are not pets.  We applaud this bill and hope that it has the legislature’s enthusiastic support.”

“As a native New York and dog lover, I am thrilled the New York State Assembly has stood up for dogs, their human companions and the Big Apple's restaurants! Letting dogs dine with their owners, with the proprietor's consent, is simply good business and a win, win for everyone!” Jane Velez-Mitchell, Journalist/Author/Editor JaneUnChained.com

“We are thrilled that the NY Assembly has passed the Dining with Dogs bill—once enacted into law this legislation will be a win for dogs, for dog-owners, for restaurants, and will serve to send a positive message that New York is leading the progressive effort to be more animal friendly. We strongly urge Governor Cuomo to pass this much needed bill into law,” Edita Birnkrant, Campaigns Director of Friends of Animals said.

Assemblymember Linda B. Rosenthal, Chair of the Committee on Substance Abuse and Alcoholism, represents the 67th Assembly district, which includes the Upper West Side and parts of the Clinton/ Hell’s Kitchen.

 

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