Thursday, 02 February 2023

Yamada bill allowing dining with dogs heads to Senate

SACRAMENTO – Assemblywoman Mariko Yamada’s (D-Davis) “dining with dogs” legislation was approved May 8 by the State Assembly and now moves to the State Senate for further consideration.

Assembly Bill 1965 seeks to give restaurants the option to voluntarily allow pet dogs in their outdoor seating areas under specified conditions unless a local ordinance determines otherwise.

“Despite the best efforts of city and county public health departments to balance the desire of restaurant and dog owners with the need to preserve public health, state law currently preempts any effort they make to accommodate dogs on dining patios,” Yamada stated. “AB 1965 remedies this by allowing willing businesses to accommodate customers and their dogs while still providing local governments the option to determine if additional standards are necessary for their communities.”

AB 1965 would allow business owners to voluntarily make the decision that is best for their business without the threat of a citation or other penalty.

The bill does not mandate restaurants to provide this option, but simply makes the potential practice – which is already occurring throughout California – permissible unless prohibited by local ordinance.

“Social Compassion in Legislation is thrilled that with overwhelming bipartisan support the State Assembly understands the need to modernize this outdated law.” said Judie Mancuso, president of the statewide animal welfare group. “Many restaurants choose to take their chances and allow dogs on their patios, but it remains illegal. We want to support these businesses and elevate the standards for our beloved canines.”

Assemblymember Yamada represents the 4th Assembly District which includes all or parts of Colusa, Lake, Napa, Solano, Sonoma and Yolo counties.

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