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A newly signed law in New York is now making it legal for dogs to accompany their owners to restaurants and cafes, provided that their owners are sitting in an outdoor seating section and the establishment is alright with it. By signing this, New York state Governor Andrew Cuomo has helped New York join the ranks of other states such as California, Maryland, Florida, and others in recognizing how important dogs are to some people. While most of the people taking advantage of this law will most likely be citizens who just want to enjoy the company of their pet, this law will also be a true boon to others who need their dogs for therapeutic reasons.

Most dog owners view dogs as more than just pets, they’re seen as members of the family that should be treated as such. However there are also those that truly require their dogs for medicine and therapeutic purposes as well. Service dogs can be vital to the recovery of a person and the old law banning dogs from food establishments ran headlong into the laws allowing service dogs into places. While the laws allowed service dogs to go wherever they’re needed, restaurants would frequently ignore that and forbid dogs from entering. This obviously causes issues with the people who rely on their dogs for comfort, security, and care, especially in public places.

Cuomo is also claiming that the law will open new revenue streams for businesses due to the fact that they can now advertise to people who want to bring their dogs with them when they eat. As expected, the law is running into some flack, notably from health officials. They claim that dogs might bite people and decrease the sanitation in an establishment. However even those arguments seem muted in comparison to the huge number of people, both dog-owners and business-owners, who are excited for this new development. Plus, if you add the fact that similar legislation in other states hasn’t led to an increase in dog bites or food risk, and you have something that everyone should be able to get behind.

If you’d like to read more, the link is here.