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Not Everyone Is Happy About a New Bill Welcoming Dogs to Al Fresco Dining Spots

The bill has already passed in the state Senate, but one Assembly man isn't on board.

Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images

Last week, it looked like New York City dogs might finally be able to get in on the al fresco dining action — legally. A bill was passed in the state Senate, and a similar one is currently in the works in the state Assembly, that would allow restaurants to welcome pooches to their outdoor seating areas. But, not everyone is down with Fido. Assemblyman Richard Gottfried thinks that the decision should be left to the municipalities, not the state. He's also worried that big dogs might steal food right off of a diner's plate. "Some dogs are tall enough that all they would have to do is turn their heads and they would be eating off people's plates," he said, according to the Post.

Animal advocates have pointed out that that hasn't been an issue in California and Europe, where similar laws are already in place. Even the Health Committee seems to be open to the bill. Senator Kemp Hannon, who chairs that committee, said: "We're here to urge that the bill be passed in the Assembly...It's a little bit of fun to talk about it, but it's really serious because people take their pets very seriously." One possible solution from a restaurant owner in Albany would be to have a dog friendly area and a Fido-free one.