Have you ever taken Fido on a walk and wanted to stop for a bite at a restaurant? House Bill 263 sponsored by Representative Laura Lanese (R- Grove City), and Senate Bill 182 sponsored by Senator Bill Coley (R- Liberty Township) would provide that opportunity by allowing restaurant owners to decide whether or not to allow dogs on their outdoor patios. Both bills received their first hearings in committee last week, and we believe there is a high likelihood of passage.
Pups on Patios and Yappy Hours have been growing in popularity in recent years, however, state law does not currently permit this practice. That would change under HB 263 and SB 182, which would give restaurants discretion on whether or not your furry friend may join you for a bite to eat.
Lanese said the idea for the bill came from her constituents who told her they were no longer allowed to take their dogs with them to restaurants even though they had many times before. She said local businesses were also shocked to learn the practice is illegal under current law.
Under the bill, if a food service establishment does not allow dogs on their patios, they must make an exception for service animals.
“This bill gives recognition of the importance of the animals in our lives,” said Lanese. “We already have pet-friendly hotels, pet-friendly parks, and pet-friendly events. It’s a good opportunity for marketing our state as pet-friendly for tourism purposes as many travelers want to bring their pets along with them when they travel.”
Our client, the Cleveland Animal Protective League, supports HB 263 and SB 182, and applauds the work of Lanese and Coley to enact business-friendly legislation in support of animals.
“People love their animals and want to spend as much time with them as possible,” said Sharon Harvey, President and CEO of the Cleveland APL. “These bills allow owners to celebrate their pets as important members of the family and include them in fun family outings, and support local restaurants at the same time.”
For more information about this article, contact Rebecca Kuhns at (614)407-4224.
Vice President of Government Relations