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The DOH Is So Not Down With Allowing Dogs at Outdoor Cafes

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A state bill is hitting some roadblocks.

Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images

A couple weeks ago, it looked like dogs would finally be able to legally get in on the al fresco dining action in NYC, but the bill, which has already been passed by the state senate is now hitting roadblocks. The latest one comes from the Department of Health, which is urging officials to vote against the bill in the state assembly. A DOH spokesperson told the Daily News: "The Health Department loves all dogs, but just not at restaurants where they can create a risk to the health and safety of diners, restaurant workers and other dogs."

Senate health committee chairman Kemp Hannon argues back that there are few health risks. A similar law is already in effect in California, and a few European countries allow dogs to join their owners at outdoor cafes, and nothing too horrible seems to have happened in any of those places. Assemblywoman Linda Rosenthal, who sponsored the bill points out: "The city needs to recognize that this is already happening and if this were the law, the city could better regulate it."

A vote in the assembly's health committee is slated for tomorrow and the bill should be decided on or before June 17, when the state's legislative session ends.