New law gives restaurants the choice to allow dogs on their patio

Dogs on Patios

TYLER, Texas (KLTV) - A new Texas law may lead to more pooches on the patio at some of your favorite restaurants.

The new law will allow restaurants the freedom to choose whether they want to allow dogs on their patios or not.

“It’s great because my dog gets to socialize with people aside from me and my household,” said Kat Cortelyou, the director of SPCA East Texas. “It’s also great for people who can’t have a dog or aren’t ready for a pet; they can come over and pet my dog and love it and hold it while I go get a beer, so it’s a win-win for everybody, I think.”

Taking effect September 1, Senate Bill 476 inhibits municipalities from enforcing any local laws that are more strict than the state-wide one.

“I think it’s a good idea because it might allow more restaurants to open up to the idea of allowing people to bring their dogs and enjoy their food and drinks and allow people to bring their pets out,” said Nate Rhyne, general manager and chef at ETX Brewing.

ETX Brewing in Tyler currently allows dogs on their patio and thinks that more restaurants should do the same.

“We do it to allow people to bring their pets with them because pets are like family members to a lot of people,” said Rhyne. “It allows them to bring them out and still enjoy the atmosphere and a cold beer.”

Restaurants will still have to follow health department policies and dogs will not be allowed inside the restaurants.

“You can’t have animals where food is directly cooked and served and you need to have disposable plate ware,” said Rhyne. “You can’t allow animals on tables or chairs and they can’t eat off the plate directly.”

The new law states that dogs must be on a leash and well behaved and the restaurant must have clearly posted signs.

Senator Kelly Hancock, who authored the bill, said in a press release that since filing the bill, his office head from dog-lovers all across Texas who are looking forward to bringing their dogs with them to more places.

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