Seventeen states in the U.S., including Kentucky, allow dogs to hang out in outdoor dining areas. But indoors? That’s a ruff one.
A new bill from Louisville state Sen. Denise Harper Angel would allow dogs to join their humans inside Kentucky restaurants. The restaurants and owners, however, would have to abide by certain rules.
It’s the FDA’s Food Code that prohibits dogs from chilling under the tables at your favorite local diner in most circumstances. (Service dogs are allowed.)
Most states adhere to this rule, although Florida passed a bill in 2006 that allowed local units of government to adopt their own indoor dining dog rules.
In Louisville, the local health department typically only responds to dog violations if there is a complaint. We found this out in 2019 when Nachbar was forced to start banning a beloved cat after the health department was contacted.
Harper Angel’s bill would allow Kentucky restaurants to apply for a “dog friendly” designation if they meet certain requirements.
If involved with the preparation or handling of food, restaurant employees would have to avoid touching dogs. They’d also have to make sure dogs didn’t come into contact with any food, tableware, linens and the like.
Additionally, restaurants would be required to display signage, identifying themselves as a dog-friendly establishment and telling customers to keep dogs leashed and off chairs, seats and tables.
Restaurants could refuse to serve patrons if their dog is a threat and if the owner doesn’t exercise reasonable control over the pooch.
Harper Angel’s bill has yet to be assigned to a committee.
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