All About Marie

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Animal Files columnist of the Orange County Register; Emmy Award winning producer of Educational Television Programming; Host of "The Pet Place Radio Show" heard world-wide at www.blogtalkradio.com/petplace; click the player below to listen. Producer/Director/Editor of "The Pet Place TV Show" during the 18 years it ran on KDOC TV in Los Angeles and Orange Counties; Wife, Mother of five kids, Grandmother of one baby boy, and pet parent of three cats, two dogs, and a cockatoo.

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Friday, March 28, 2014

Dining with Dogs...



From our friends at Social Compassion in Legislation (http://www.socialcompassioninlegislation.org/)

Assemblymember Mariko Yamada (D-Davis) has introduced legislation that could allow dog owners to dine out with their furry friends. AB 1965 would permit restaurants to voluntarily allow pet dogs in outdoor seating areas under specified conditions unless a local ordinance determines otherwise.

“This bill allows willing businesses to serve customers and accommodate their dogs,” Yamada said. “Allowing restaurants the flexibility to serve patrons with their canine companions without fear from health authorities saves precious resources for more serious public health concerns.”

In 2012, many dog and restaurant owners in Los Angeles advocated for a change to the outright policy of barring dogs—except service dogs--in restaurants. In response, the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health gave Los Angeles restaurants with outdoor dining areas the authority under certain conditions to allow dogs in those outside areas. However, state law still prohibits the presence of all animals other than service animals wherever food is served.

"Social Compassion in Legislation is thrilled to sponsor this business and pet friendly legislation,” said Judie Mancuso, President of the statewide animal welfare group. “We have received complaints about this outdated state law for years from dog lovers and restaurant owners alike, and greatly appreciate Assemblywoman Yamada addressing the issue. Many restaurants choose to take their chances and allow dogs on their patios, but it remains illegal. We want to support these businesses and encourage more to open up to our canine family members."

While the outdoor areas of some restaurants are well-suited for accommodating dog owners, the law makes no distinction as to where dogs are banned. 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 allowable unless prohibited by local ordinance.

AB 1965 will be referred to a policy committee in March. Yamada represents the 4th Assembly District which includes all or parts of Colusa, Lake, Napa, Solano, Sonoma and Yolo Counties.

AB 1965 Dining with Dogs made it out if Assembly Health Committee 17 Ayes to 1 no vote on March 25, 2014.  Be sure to phone, email, or write a letter to your representative to let him or her know you support this bill!

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