Florida city lets the dogs in
Ocala, Fla., is letting the dogs in … to outdoor areas of local restaurants. A new ordinance passed by the city in September allows dogs to join their masters for meals in the city’s eateries, at least until Oct. 1, 2011, at which point the law may be reconsidered. The ordinance is based on state laws that authorize local governments to establish three-year pilot programs for testing such ordinances.
Restaurants seeking permits to allow dogs would have to meet certain requirements, such as employees must wash their hands after petting dogs and advise the customers to do the same, owners must keep the dogs on leashes at all times, and any “accidents” by the animals in the dining areas must be cleaned immediately. Restaurant owners will be allowed to choose whether to allow dogs in their establishments.
During the Ocala City Council meeting at which the ordinance was approved, Council President Kent Guinn asked Assistant City Attorney W. James Gooding if the restaurants would be liable if a dog in the dining area bit another patron, according to the Ocala Star-Banner. “We would assume the dog owner would be liable,” Gooding said. “The restaurant may or may not be liable.”
Download Ocala’s dogs in restaurants ordinance.