It’s common in California to see dogs lounging next to their owners on restaurants patios. But, technically, their owners are breaking the law. Several counties have policies allowing dogs on restaurant patios, but state law actually prohibits it.
Now a law being proposed in the legislature would bring the state into line with counties and allow local governments to create laws regarding dogs and dining areas. Judie Mancuso is with the animal rights group Social Compassion in Legislation, which is advocating for the measure. She says people are surprised to find out it’s illegal to have a dog on a restaurant patio.
“Most people, you know, when I first told them about this bill say, ‘Oh no, my city already does that!’, she says. "Everybody is already of the opinion, since it’s so wide spread, that it was just legal. And it’s like, well, no it’s not.”
The state law would require pet dogs be brought through a separate patio entrance. In addition, restaurants could not store food or utensils on patios where dogs are allowed and employees would not be allowed to touch the animals.