Nearly half (47%) of US households are home to at least one dog. Savvy business owners across the country are cashing in on our puppy love by welcoming dogs to their establishments and offering little extras like complimentary treats or special menu items. But the eatery owners of Ohio are currently unable to benefit from the canine crowds. State law bans dogs from restaurants, bars and coffee shops – even on the patios.
Two local lawmakers have recently proposed bills that would allow individual establishments to decide whether or not to welcome furry friends – in their outdoor areas only, of course.
State Senator Bill Coley says Senate Bill 182 is about taking power out of the hands of bureaucrats and giving it back to small business owners and citizens.
“You know, a lot of people in the community here have dogs,” Coley told WTOL. “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.”
House Bill 263 was proposed in June when Representative Laura Lanese learned that area business owners were unknowingly breaking the law – and sometimes facing the wrath of health officials – by allowing their patrons to drink and dine with their dogs.
“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.”
H/T to WTOL.com
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