California Bill Would Legalize Dining With Dogs

California Bill Would Legalize Dining With Dogs

Thanks to a bill known as Assembly Bill 1965 (AB 1965), diners who have been enjoying the company of their canine companions on outdoor patios of restaurants for years–illegally, with the exception of service dogs who have always had a pass–could actually have a legal measure backing their desire to dine with their dogs, if the bill receives California Senate approval.  

AB 1965 received almost unanimous approval with a vote of 71-1, according to Mariko Yamada (D-Davis) sponsored the bill which was spurred by the experience of Judie Mancuso, the president of the animal welfare group Social Compassion in Legislation and an animal welfare advocate who took her two Chihuahuas to two different locations of a chain restaurant and experienced no problems eating with her dogs in one location. However, she was not allowed into another location, according to an opinion piece by the Los Angeles Times.

The bill does not make it mandatory for restaurants to allow diners with dogs to eat on their patios or designated outdoor dining areas, and local municipalities–both city and county–could still prohibit the practice, although many have been allowing it without legal approval for years. The website Bring Fido lists 173 dog-friendly restaurants in Los Angeles, California.