Most four-legged patrons of pet-friendly restaurants would have to remain outside, under a bill proposed this week by state Rep. Bruce Antone, D-Orlando.
The proposal (HB 243), filed for consideration during the 2020 legislative session, would prohibit household pets from “traveling through or remaining in portions” of public food establishments “in order to protect the health, safety, and general welfare of the public.” While the bill wouldn’t pre-empt existing local ordinances, it would direct the state Department of Business and Professional Regulation to adopt rules and create a publicly accessible website for complaints.
Flagler Beach has one such ordinance, which allows for restaurants to decide whether their establishment is open to dogs or not. Several restaurants in the city allow dogs inside and in food-serving areas. The city tried banning the practice in 2011, but the backlash was severe, and the city reversed itself. No such allowance is on the books in Palm Coast.
In 2006, Florida was the first states to enact a law allowing cities and counties to make doggie dining permissible. Illinois and Minnesota followed in 2008, then Tennessee in 2009. Florida’s law required those local governments to enact such allowances through explicit ordinances. The ordinances are required to outline regulations, from ensuring that dogs are kept leashed to sanitary conditions on staff to inclusions of clean-up stations, and so on. As of this year, Florida was one of just 11 states that allow the practice (though service animals are exempt in states that prohibit it).
The proposed state law wouldn’t bar service animals from accompanying their owners inside. The tourism-marketing agency Visit Florida says on its website that, “Dog-friendly outdoor restaurants, bars and craft beer pubs abound throughout the state, some offering ‘yappy hour’ canine-friendly designated times, others with an open-door doggie policy around the clock.” The 2020 legislative session will start Jan. 14.
–FlaglerLive and the News Service of Florida
Rick G says
I don’t like this bill… I’ve seen many humans that look like they are carrying diseases more so than dogs. The dog owner should be responsible but dogs should be allowed if restaurants are okay with them.
Bill D says
This is great! Now we need legislation to prohibit dogs in grocery stores ( in carts where I place my food) and any other retail establishments. The exclusion being truly vetted service dogs.
When did it become OK to bring pets into all stores?
I agree 100 percent
I agree! I love my dogs, but they do not need to be in grocery stores, restaurants, or other retail stores. I do not like having dog hair near my food! I can clean and contain it in my own home; businesses and restaurants do not nor should they have to.
Totally agree 100%
Absolutely, One of the nicest parts of moving here was the friendly atmosphere. As a animal lover and rescuer, I very much enjoy taking my fur babies to the beach with me and then for a bite to eat. It was so wonderful to sit outside with them and other furry friends, chatting and enjoying the beautiful day. There definitely should be a second look and this bill. I’m very disappointed it was even considered
Dale Allen says
Well Bruce ,it seems that you don’t have pets. What a pity that you don’t seem to realize that folks are close to their pets and enjoy having them around wherever they may go. Please retract your bill and insert it where the sun don’t shine.
London BLU says
Ok Dale. Stay at home and with your pets! I don’t want to eat with them!
Just because you’re close to your pets doesn’t mean that others want to be. Having your dog tied to your hip at all times is a surefire way to end up with a neurotic mess of an animal who can’t be alone for 5 minutes. Drop the entitlement mentality and leave the dogs at home.
John Emm says
Such an inappropriate comment. Leave the pets at home. I leave mine there.
I don’t want to put my child in a cart where your wild animal was.
Where are my rights??? Obviously you have no consideration
I’ve always had pets (until recently) and would never had brought them where food is bought or sold, nor do I appreciate any animal riding in a grocery cart where MY food might be placed. Also, I do not appreciate sitting in a restaurant where a dog’s “butt” has been. If one is that endeared to their pet, buy food to go, but stay away from my domain.
Mary Fusco says
Dale, I have had pets, both cats and dogs, for 50 years and have never felt the need to take one of them to a restaurant. I love them beyond belief, give them the best care and they sleep with me. Let’s face it people go to work for over 8 hours a day and can’t take their dogs with them. I think the dog will be okay for an hour while someone eats. I love all animals but that doesn’t mean everyone else does. Then there are people who are allergic to dogs. Unless a dog is a proven service dog with documentation, not a vest bought from Amazon, it doesn’t need to be in a restaurant. When my husband and I traveled with our dogs, we normally packed a cooler with food so that we could stop at a rest stop where the dogs could be out and about and take care of business. No drama.
I do not think dogs, with the exception of service dogs, provided they are really service dogs, belong inside a restaurant where diners are eating and If I knew of a restaurant that allowed this, I would not go there. Dogs can have fleas, smell, misbehave, whine bark at other dogs. I’ve been in Lowes many times when there have been several dogs in their and they were regular pets. I almost hit one of them with a wagon because the dog was low to the ground and I was coming around the corner and didn’t see it.
I’m sure glad I didn’t hit it, but my heart was in my stomach for awhile. I see them in the wagon seats in Walmart, who knows how clean their back end is or what they’ve left on it. People sit their kids there, shoppers put groceries there and women put their purses there. I even see people who have their dog wear something that looks like a service vest, but it really isn’t.
Wth the exception of legit service dogs, animals do not belong inside restaurants or stores and some other places, and that should be enforced.
John Em says
I agree although who will screen that these are bona fide service dogs??? Sure they can get that cape that says so…
Saw one chick bring in a PIG in her shopping cart to Publix!!!
If you need that solace so badly go to a shrink and get Prozac.
Mary Fusco says
Sorry Tulip but my dog is cleaner than a lot of the people I see in WM. You are more likely to catch something from a runny nose kid in the cart than from a dog. Adults and children are often sick and/or incubating some virus or the flu when using the carts. Why do you think there are wipes when you grab a cart. I have always had dogs and personally do not see the reasoning to take them to the grocery store but they are certainly not a huge health threat.
Dogs in restaurants is up to the establishment. If you are against dogs where you eat, then don’t go to those restaurants. The restaurant owners will get the message one way or the other. Service dogs feet should never leave the ground…that means they DO NOT belong in shopping carts!
Agree people go on line and get the phony papers and gear to bring these animals in stores service dogs are trained for the blind and for vets to retrieve things not these fo fo dogs that there dum owners bring in and by the way these phony papers are not permissible in the courts
A true service dog will not pee or poop inside a food establishment. They are trained a lot that this would never happen. A true service dog will not smell you, will not leave the side of their owner. I agree with many on this page that I have met dogs in stores that walk up to me and smell me and want me to pet them. These legislative people should concentrate on the language for service dogs and what the owner should have with them to prove that they are trained. The Blind have the special harness for their dogs and they should never be denied into a retail establishment under any type of circumstances but general service dogs do not. Just like a licence for the owner and dog would be nice.
Good thing I have an emotional support Hyena, they aren’t dogs so………………Folks, With teh EXCEPTION of ACTUAL TRAINED Service Animals, your dog, cat, chicken, vulture or whatever else you have does Not belong in a restaurant, unless it is an outdoor patio. Otherwise, the Hyena is coming along too…..she don’t eat much….
John Kent says
Dear State, please police us, stupid unwashed. What do we know and how can we be allowed to live our lives the way we want to when there are exist Masters we elect to rule us all and tell us where to, how to, when to and with whom to go, be, exist and so on. We kneel before your mighty knowledge and judgment and promise to behave and do as told! Amen!
P.S. Can I fart somewhere, any designated place, couldn’t hold any longer?!?!?!
Willy Boy says
Sure, there are abuses of the Service Dog issue, but not as flagrant as Handicapped Parking Decals. Nothing like seeing a little sporty car whip into a Handicap spot with decal flapping from the rear view mirror, and out springs the driver who runs in and then out of store wearing cross-trainers. Okay with dogs in restaurants, not okay with screaming infants.
I have a dog and he hates being left an home and I do like having him with me but those that think having dogs around food items is a health risk should prevail. Afterall, it’s my behavior that is making them uncomfortable.
I think that the issue of people strapping a ‘service dog’ harness around their non-service dog in order to take their dog everywhere they go should be addressed first. Otherwise, there might just be a run on service dog harnesses if this does become a law.
Born and Rasied Here says
Dogs are there to protect me, my family, and my property. They are also here to keep me and them healthy through exercise and running, No dog should be allow to go shopping or out to eat. They are here to serve there Masters.
It appears these messages have gotten twisted. Those that agreed with the snotty nosed kid and the pets in the supermarket to those that enjoy having a fur companion with them for a bite to eat. I’ve seen quit a lot of single people with there pets as there companion and most where over 50, that being said, it would take a wide eyed individual to see that there fur friend IS there only trusted companion. By limiting there ability to enjoy a bite to eat outside of there home with there only trusted friend would limit there ability to enjoy the benefits of this wonderful town and environment. As retirees from all over the country come here to enjoy the years, some single through death and or divorce, this bill kills one of the most enjoyable things about the coastal living.
Please reconsider and think outside your box before passing judgment
And what about those who are VERY allergic to Animal hair. How do you infringe on their health?
Florida state statute says says
SOCIAL WELFARE Chapter 413
EMPLOYMENT AND RELATED SERVICES FOR PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES View Entire Chapter
413.08 Rights and responsibilities of an individual with a disability; use of a service animal; prohibited discrimination in public employment, public accommodations, and housing accommodations; penalties.—
(d) “Service animal” means an animal that is trained to do work or perform tasks for an individual with a disability, including a physical, sensory, psychiatric, intellectual, or other mental disability. The work done or tasks performed must be directly related to the individual’s disability and may include, but are not limited to, guiding an individual who is visually impaired or blind, alerting an individual who is deaf or hard of hearing, pulling a wheelchair, assisting with mobility or balance, alerting and protecting an individual who is having a seizure, retrieving objects, alerting an individual to the presence of allergens, providing physical support and assistance with balance and stability to an individual with a mobility disability, helping an individual with a psychiatric or neurological disability by preventing or interrupting impulsive or destructive behaviors, reminding an individual with mental illness to take prescribed medications, calming an individual with posttraumatic stress disorder during an anxiety attack, or doing other specific work or performing other special tasks. A service animal is not a pet. For purposes of subsections (2), (3), and (4), the term “service animal” is limited to a dog or miniature horse. The crime-deterrent effect of an animal’s presence and the provision of emotional support, well-being, comfort, or companionship do not constitute work or tasks for purposes of this definition.
Randy Jones says
Who among us can imagine a cat riding in a grocery cart?
Jim Eldridge says
I absolutely agree
Bill Nelson says
Animals of any kind are NOT the cleanest of beings, “regardless of what ownership says”. They still lick spots ? and do strange other things to stay clean (by their standards). I do not appreciate sitting where an animal has planted it’s posterior, especially at a restaurant or in a shopping cart. I do, however, appreciate an animal lovers attachment to their pet, and as such, would promote the fact that, IF a restaurant set aside an “outside” area for owners and pets, it would be fine with me. BUT, in a store, (especially a grocery store) I say no way to any animal, inclusive of service animals, unless so certified AND identified.