Dogs Now Have a Right to Dine in CA Restaurants

Dan Joseph
By Dan Joseph | August 22, 2014 | 11:58 AM EDT

Great news for California dog lovers!  Governor Jerry Brown, signed a law Thursday that lifted health code restrictions that banned restaurant owners from allowing dogs in eating establishments.

Because California has no other pressing problems to deal with, the law was able to garner wide bipartisan support in the state legislature. 

But, all you California canine lovers shouldn't get too excited.  The law applies only to restaurant patios.  Additionally, the dog cannot sit on a chair at the table with you. (Sorry, really lonely people.) The dogs must be on a leash and the dog’s owner is responsible for anything the dog decides to leave behind after the meal.

Additionally the dog cannot be taken through the restaurant itself.  Restaurant owners must have a separate patio entrance for the animals.  Obviously, dogs are still not permitted in the restaurant kitchens.  That would be chaos.

A lot of restaurant owners have long turned a blind eye to dogs dining besides their owners in California eateries. However, owners faced the risk of health code penalties if they were caught in violation of the ordinance by some aggressive anti-dog bureaucrat.  But Jerry Brown has now made the practice legal. 

The bill passed the California Assembly in May by a 71-1 vote.  The only no vote came from Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalaz (D-San Diego).  Ms. Gonzalez could not be reached for comment.