Governor Jerry Brown signed a bill this week that will allow dogs to sit with their owners while they dine on outdoor patios. The legislation that takes effect on Jan. 1 overturns a little-enforced ban on pets at bars and restaurants.
While some health departments have allowed dogs in outdoor dining areas for years, the new law that passed with wide bipartisan support clarifies a section of the health code that actually banned dogs from restaurants altogether.
The bill now allows restaurants to decide whether to allow canines onto patio areas, as long as it is not forbidden by local ordinance. Dogs must be able to enter the outdoor dining area through a separate entrance and are not allowed on chairs, seats or benches. They must be on a leash and under control of the owner who has the responsibility to clean up after them.
Governor Brown, whose dog Sutter Brown is a Sacramento icon complete with his own Twitter account, did not comment on the signing of the bill.