Should pups be at restaurants? Two Ohio bills would allow it - Cincinnati News, FOX19-WXIX TV

Should pups be at restaurants? Two Ohio bills would allow it

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Want to have a pint with your pooch? In Ohio, you can’t and some bars and restaurants have gotten in trouble allowing dogs on their patios.

Some dog owners prefer to take Fido out with them when they go out in lieu of keeping him at home alone. Cities like Cleveland were getting a reputation as a dog-friendly spot — benefiting some businesses, according to reporting from the Cleveland Plain Dealer. 

Some business owners were disappointed when health officials started cracking down on them for allowing dog owners to bring their furry friends with them. Now there’s momentum to change the law to make bars, coffee shops and restaurants more pup friendly.

State Sen. Bill Coley (R, Liberty Township) introduced a bill that would allow restaurant owners to decide whether or not canines are allowed on patios. He says the measure, Senate Bill 182, is about taking power away from government and giving it to small business.

“We want to restore decision making authority to Ohio’s small businesses and dog owners,” Coley said in a tweet. “Not bureaucrats.”

People bringing dogs into bars and restaurants is not uncommon in large cities that allow it such as Los Angeles, Minneapolis and Denver. In Chicago, it’s common for stores and restaurants to have free dog water and treats at the door.

“You know, a lot of people in the community here have dogs,” Coley said. “And they get home from a hard day’s work and, yeah, they want to go meet their friends over at Land-Grant and have a beer and have something to eat and just have a nice relaxing day, but their dog has been home alone all day. And they want to see their dog, too.”

Coley’s bill would allow restaurants to forbid dogs on their property and still does not allow them inside.

A similar law was proposed in the State House in June by Rep. Laura Lanese (R, Grove City). She said she introduced House Bill 263 after learning restaurant owners were unknowingly breaking the law letting customers bring their furry best friends.

“This legislation gives businesses the freedom to decide for themselves whether or not to allow dogs on their patios,” Lanese said. “It is also a recognition of the importance of animals in our lives. 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 while they travel.”

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