Marylanders Soon May Be Dining With Dogs

Lawmakers sponsoring bill to allow dogs at outdoor eateries.

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Nothing says summer like dining al fresco.  And for many people, that experience would be even better if they could take their dogs.

Delegate Dan K. Morhaim is sponsoring the “Dining Out Growth Act of 2011.”  He tells the Baltimore Sun that the law would give a much-needed boost to the state’s restaurant industry.

“Frankly, anything that develops economic activity right now is good, “ Del. Morhaim tells the Sun.  “Now when people are outside and walking their dogs, they’ll walk by a place where they’d like to stop and eat.  But they won’t because they can’t.”

Currently, allowing dogs to accompany restaurant patrons, whether it be indoors or outdoors, is illegal.  Restaurants who ignore the rule can be fined.

On Tuesday, the “Dining Out Growth Act of 2011” will be discussed at a hearing before the House of Delegates and Government Operations Committee.  According to the Sun, the proposal has the support of many Maryland restaurants, the Humane Society of the United States and the Maryland Health Department.

If passed, the law would take effect in October.  Florida, California and Minnesota already have similar laws in place.

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