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Tennessee removes ban on dogs in restaurants

Effective tomorrow, dogs in Tennessee’s largest cities can legally join their owners for dinner in restaurants with outdoor dining areas — assuming, of course, the restaurants permit it.

Democratic Gov. Phil Bredesen signed the measure into law on last Thursday. A previous state law had banned all but service dogs from restaurants.

The law is limited to cities with a population of at least 100,000 — and a handful of smaller jurisidictions which sought, through amendments, to be added.

Under the law, business owners still have the power to decide whether to allow dogs at their establishments.

The state house approved the bill, in a 64-21 vote, on June 11,according to the Knoxville News-Sentinel.

Amendments adopted in the House would allow Blount, Sevier and Fentress counties to allow dogs in restaurants even though the counties do not meet the population requirements.


Comment from Rod Burkert
Time June 30, 2009 at 5:12 pm

I think this is a great idea. I am not even going to get into the argument of pets v. small children at restaurants. What is important is that pet owners have the option to bring pets with them. And thinking about small children, what a great lesson to teach kids – that well-behaved pets get to go out to eat!

Comment from Hazel Heart
Time August 19, 2009 at 9:59 am

This is a welcome changed. Having lived in Los Angeles and south Florida, among other places where dogs are allowed wherever their human goes, restaurants, stores, etc., it is nice to see other areas of the country understanding the importance of dogs to people. And I wholeheartily agree w/ Rod Burkert; pets v small children in restaurants – I will take a pet over a small child anyday. I have grandchildren too!!!
HooRah Tennessee

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