The Bulletin Board

Dogs allowed to join in outdoor dining, per new state law

By: - February 25, 2022 12:27 pm
State House dome

The House voted on several bills related to reproductive health and access to abortion. (Dave Cummings | New Hampshire Bulletin)

A new state law will allow dogs to partake in outdoor dining after Gov. Chris Sununu signed Senate Bill 17 on Thursday.

The measure will go into effect on April 25, 60 days after it was signed. It allows restaurants to permit dogs in outdoor dining areas alongside their owners if they satisfy a list of other criteria, like putting up a sign to alert patrons about where dogs are allowed, taking certain food safety measures, and ensuring dogs are kept under their owners’ control and that aggressive or unruly dogs are removed. Restaurant staff are not allowed to play with or pet the dogs, per the new law.

Service animals are subject to a different set of laws and can enter restaurants. Some people who use service animals were concerned that poor behavior of non-service dogs could have a negative impact, like greater restrictions, on those who depend on service dogs.

The bill had bipartisan support, with Republican and Democratic co-sponsors.

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Amanda Gokee
Amanda Gokee

Amanda Gokee reported on energy and environment for New Hampshire Bulletin. She also previously reported on these issues at VTDigger. Amanda grew up in Vermont and is a graduate of Harvard University. She received her master’s degree in liberal studies, with a concentration in creative writing, from Dartmouth College. Her work has also appeared in the LA Review of Books and the Valley News.