Oregon Lawmaker Wants Dogs Allowed in Restaurants
If approved, legislation would be a first for a U.S. state.
Posted: May 8, 2007, 5 a.m. EDT
Many cities in the United States allow dogs to dine with their owners in the patio areas of restaurants, but one lawmaker has proposed legislation that would make Oregon the first state in the country to allow dogs inside restaurants.
Rep. Brian Clem, D-Salem, is sponsoring House Bill 3521, which would allow pooch patrons in restaurants, provided they are well-behaved and on a leash. Restaurants would also be allowed to prohibit certain breeds from entering.
However, state health officials have come out in opposition of the bill.
“I love dogs. Love them. But not around food,” Gail Shibley, environmental public health administrator for the Oregon Public Health Division, told the Oregonian newspaper.
“They are quite naturally a vector for a variety of pathogens, including salmonella and campylobacter, also possible exposures to diseases like ringworm,” Shibley said.
Although various municipalities across the United States allow dogs on restaurant patios, no state has gone as far as allowing pets inside restaurants. Some, however, are beginning to consider allowing dogs on restaurant patios and in outdoor bars.
The state of Washington earlier this year considered a bill for a three-year pilot program, but it was shot down after opponents complained that dogs might transmit diseases and affect people with allergies.
Clem has acknowledged that his bill is unlikely to pass this session.
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