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Dining with dog? Maryland makes it legal

Maryland restaurants may allow dogs in their outdoor seating areas as of July 1 under a bill approved by the Senate yesterday and headed for Gov. Martin O’Malley’s desk for final approval.

O’Malley, whose family has two dogs, is expected to sign the bill, the Baltimore Sun reports on its Maryland Politics blog.

The bill permits restaurants with outdoor patios and tables to welcome dogs, if they want to.

Del. Dan Morhaim sponsored the legislation, and said it will provide a financial boost for restaurants and bars heading into the outdoor dining season.

The Dining Out Growth Act of 2011 permits restaurants statewide to have outdoor space for humans and dogs to eat together — as is already the case in Frederick County, for which similar legislation was passed last year.

Opponents of the bill said it could lead to more dog bites and other health hazards.


Comment from Kelly
Time April 13, 2011 at 5:40 am

Was talking to Mara at CL about this last night. She & many others didn’t know it was a law that you couldn’t til now.

Comment from Dee
Time April 13, 2011 at 9:10 am

As long as the owner keeps their dogs under control I don’t see anything wrong with it
Those that don’t like it can sit inside.

Comment from Carly
Time April 13, 2011 at 5:28 pm

Great news! I live in Charleston, SC and I love how dog friendly it is here. There are several restaurants that allow and encourage dogs.

Comment from lacywhite
Time April 19, 2011 at 7:36 pm

Everyone in Maryland should be upset that in these difficult times, our lawmakers wasted taxpayers’ money on something as ridiculous as this. I was in an outside restaurant in NY and saw a dog attack a woman because a man walking past on crutches on the other side of the dog accidentally placed a crutch on the dog’s tail. When something similar happens here and both the restaurant and dog’s owner get sued, they can thank our illustrious lawmakers.

As for dogs in restaurants in Paris, European dogs are trained, nothing like the badly behaved mutts in America where people refuse to use physical discipline. If an American dog lover ever saw a European training a dog, they would accuse the owner of abuse. The fact is, dogs are NOT children, they are NOT “part of the family” and one of the reasons there are so many problems with dogs in this country is because people try to turn them into something they are not.

Comment from Alecia Cole
Time May 13, 2011 at 5:52 pm

To prevent dog bites and health problems – don’t bring a sick, mean dog!!!

Comment from Becky Hershberger
Time May 13, 2011 at 6:34 pm

This would be fantastic.

Comment from Courtney B.
Time July 15, 2011 at 10:38 am

lacywhite ; you’re an idiot. Dogs have feelings. They are living breathing creatures just like you & I. If a race developed that was higher on the intellectual food chain than us, I supposed you’d consider it ok for them to beat the shit out of us when we use our god given free will (that every animal has) to do something we want. The dogs in America aren’t mutts. They’re the same as the dogs in Europe, Asia, anywhere. Dogs love their people. They live and breathe to spend time with you. Your dogs aren’t trained, they’re scared of you.