A bill passed in the New York State Senate on Wednesday that would allow canine dining companions at restaurants with outdoor seating, the New York Post reports. The way the law currently stands, a restaurant that serves food near pets risks losing its operating license, but people with dogs often still sit at sidewalk or patio tables, often with the dog on the sidewalk side of the partition and its leash threaded through. The bill would make it legal for dogs to sit under the table and wait for scraps to fall while their owners get sloshed at bottomless brunch.
“It will benefit both owners and patrons,” promised Long Island Republican Senator Kemp Hannon, who chairs the Health Committee and introduced the bill (sidebar: “Kemp Hannon” is an amazing name that sounds like a parody of a Republican Senator).
There will be a few conditions to dining furry al fresco, according to Syracuse.com:
“Dogs must stay off the restaurant furniture. No lapping from reusable water bowls. Pets can’t be near food or drink preparation or utensil storage. Any staff who scratches any floppy ears must immediately wash their hands.”
The bill will not allow dogs inside of restaurants. Restaurant owners will not be required to allow dogs inside their outdoor seating areas.
Passing in the State Senate is just the first step; next the bill goes to the Assembly, and if it passes there, Gov. Cuomo can sign it into effect.