Pet Friendly Restaurants
Are Dogs Allowed?
Pet owners love their pets. This includes walking your pet, running with your pet, and dining with your pet. Here is a list of restaurants that allow pets to join you during a meal in the outdoor dining section of their restaurant.
Following are excerpts from Laws and Articles relating to Pets in Restaurants and other food establishments:
Section 81.25 of the New York City Health Code prohibits live animals from being "kept, housed or permitted to enter or remain in a food service establishment or non retail food processing establishment." This provision does not apply to service dogs accompanying and trained to assist disabled persons. The Health Code, by virtue of this provision, acknowledges the rights of disabled persons accompanied by service dogs to access public accommodations. Therefore, a service dog that accompanies a person with a disability should not be denied access to a food service establishment; and the service dog’s presence is not a violation of Section 81.25 of the Health Code.
Albany County Health Department
The Albany County Health Department states that state sanitary code prohibits animals, except service or police animals, from being anywhere in a restaurant. This include patios, which are considered an extension of the restaurant. The pertinent section of the law is clear “Live animals, including birds and turtles, are to be excluded from food service operations” but it would seem to allow dogs in bars that do not serve food.
This probably falls under the don’t ask/don’t tell rule, like restaurants without liquor licenses that allow BYOB although it’s technically illegal: As long as no one complains, and as long as an inspector doesn’t pop in while a dog is lolling on the patio while its owner enjoys an al fresco dinner, the practice will continue.
For your information, here are a few facts regarding the right of a service animal to accompany their owner (or person being served) to dine in or out of a restaurant.
A service animal is not a pet. According to the 2009 FDA Food Code, as adopted by the division, a service animal is an animal individually trained to provide assistance to an individual with a disability. The division does not enforce or inspect for compliance with the requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Contact the U.S. Department of Justice with questions about the ADA.
Service Dogs are Allowed in Restaurants
All types of service animals are permitted in restaurants as long as the service animal is controlled by its handler. The service animal is only permitted in areas that are not used for food preparation and that are usually open for customers, such as dining rooms and sales areas. More specifically:
Service Dogs in Food Service Establishments
May 18, 2012: Questions periodically arise about the rights of people with disabilities who have a dog accompany them into food service establishments. As a general rule, it is deemed discriminatory and, therefore, unlawful to deny a person access to a place of public accommodation, such as a restaurant or other food service establishment, solely because thatperson has a disability and is accompanied by a guide dog, hearing dog or service dog. Suchdenial or refusal of access to a place of public accommodation violates the Americans withDisabilities Act (ADA), the State Civil Rights Law, the New York State Human Rights Law and the New York City Human Rights Law.
Service Dog Tag
The Department issues a “Service Dog Tag”, free of charge, to dog owners who submit a written statement from a trainer stating that the dog has been trained to perform tasks to assist them. It is important, however, to note that a person with a disability accompanied by a service dog is not required by law to show proof or confirmation to you that they have a disability or that the animal accompanying him or her was trained to be a service animal. Food service operators cannot insist on seeing the special tag or other identification before permitting the service animal to accompany the person with a disability into an establishment. They may, however, exclude a service dog from an establishment if it poses a direct threat to the health and safety of others (for example, if it displays vicious behavior to other patrons). Preventing a person with a disability who is accompanied by a service dog from entering and dining in a food service establishment is a violation of the ADA and State and City laws prohibiting discrimination against persons with a disability and this action may result in fines. Source:
Service NYC.gov:Dogs in Food Service Establishments.
American with Disabilities Act (ADA), which requires that restaurants allow service and guide dogs at indoor and outdoor dining areas. The only other major Federal contribution to the restaurant health codes is a recommendation by the Federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA) called the FDA Food Code. This code is updated every four years. It is very important to note that this code is not a law but a recommendation. It is similar to the Center of Disease Control's (CDC) recommendation, not a requirement, that the general public get annual flu shots. No food establishment can be fined or punished based on the FDA Food Code recommendation. No Federal law makes it illegal to bring a pet animal to the outdoor or indoor areas of a restaurant. The FDA Food Code is important to this discussion because many states have included parts of the code into their health code laws. The state laws actually govern the operation of food establishments in a state. While many state codes include or incorporate the FDA Food Code, every state can and often does make its own modifications to the FDA Food Code to match its pre-existing statutes.
Food service establishments and non-retail food processing establishments; animals prohibited.
"No live animal shall be kept, housed or permitted to enter into or remain in any food service establishment or non-retail food processing establishment. This section shall not apply to edible fish, crustacean, shellfish, fish inaquariums, seeing-eye dogs accompanying sightless persons, hearing or servicedogs accompanying and assisting disabled persons, or patrol dogs accompanying police officers." Source:
NYC Health Code - Article 81.
Unfortunately, some irresponsible dog owners "go around the law" jeopardizing the intent of the law and the necessity of a real service dog for a disabled owner.
"It's an easy law to break, and dog cheats do. By strapping a vest or backpack that says "service animal" to their pet, anyone can go in stores and restaurants where other dogs are banned, creating growing problems for the disabled community and business owners and leading to calls for better identifying the real deal.
Read the article at:
Fake Service Dogs a Growing Problem.
"Those with disabilities are worried about privacy and the safety of their highly trained service dogs, while business owners are concerned about health violations and damage to merchandise from impostors abusing the system.
"Under the Americans with Disabilities Act, it's a federal crime to use a fake dog. And about a fourth of all states have laws against service animal misrepresentation. But privacy protections built into the laws make it nearly impossible to prosecute offenders. It's even more difficult because no papers are legally required for real service dogs. Often, people who want to take their pets into restaurants or retail stores just go online to buy vests, backpacks or ID cards with a "service animal" insignia.
"The law says those entering businesses with animals can be asked just two questions: Is this a service dog? What is it trained to do for you?