Bill that legalizes outdoor dining with your dog passes House

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A bill that allows your dog to hang out in outdoor areas of dining spots has passed the Delaware House, where it passed by a unanimous vote. The speedy passage indicates the bill is likely to take effect before the peak of the outdoor dining season.

Sponsored by Delaware House Speaker, Pete Schwartzkopf, D-Rehoboth, the measure ends a rarely enforced ban on canines on decks and patios of restaurants and beer gardens.

The Delaware Department of Heath and Social Services caused an uproar last year when it noted in social media posts that dogs were banned from outdoor areas of dining spots.

Its Division of Public of Public Health backed away from any effort to enforce the law until legislation considered.

Restaurants do have to follow common-sense regulations such as cleaning up waste and not having a dog on the table, something a few diners attempted with small canines.

The ban stayed around, despite the growing popularity of outdoor dining and the chance to take along the family pooch on a leash. Restaurants even when so far as to offer water bowls and suitable locations for the family and pet.

Online directories pointed out “pet friendly” restaurants around the state. Schwartzkopf noted that his dog tagged along when eating breakfast at a Coastal Delaware restaurant.

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