The New York state Senate approved a bill Wednesday that would permit restaurants to allow dogs in outdoor dining spaces.
The bill, passed by a 60-0 vote, would require that canine guests be accompanied by a customer and remain on a leash while visiting an establishment. In addition, pets would not be allowed in outdoor areas where food preparation takes place.
The state Assembly is now reviewing its version of the bill, which the bill’s Assembly sponsor, Democrat Linda B. Rosenthal, is confident will pass, noting that many diners consider dogs another member of their family.
Opening outdoor areas to dogs “could make a restaurant’s popularity soar because people can bring their dogs with them,” Rosenthal told The New York Times. “Or they could lose customers.”
If the measure is approved, individual restaurants will have the agency to determine whether or not to allow dogs in outdoor areas.