All 60 members of the New York State Senate voted this week to approve a bill that would allow restaurants to welcome dogs into their outdoor dining areas, as long as they are accompanied by a customer.
Meanwhile, the State Assembly is reviewing its own version of the bill.
The bill’s sponsor, Assemblywoman Linda B. Rosenthal, is confident that the bill will pass.
“When you sit down to dinner, it’s your husband, your partner, your wife, your kids, and your dog,” Rosenthal told The New York Times.
All visiting pets will have to be kept on leashes, and will not be allowed into any area where food is prepared. Restaurants will need to supply an alternate entrance for dogs and owners to enter the outdoor seating area, so that dogs will not go through the restaurant itself.
Additionally, the bill does not permit communal water bowls for pets — all dogs must be supplied “single-use disposable containers.”
If the measure is approved, restaurants will be allowed to set their own policies on how to arrange the outdoor area, or continue to ban dogs entirely.
Cats, meanwhile, are not mentioned in the bill.