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News & Press: Laws & Regulations

Attention NYC! DOH has finalized rules on dogs in sidewalk cafes.

Wednesday, March 16, 2016   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Joseph Hurley
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The NYC Dept. of Health (DOH) has announced their final rules on the new state law that allows restaurant owners the choice to allow dogs in outdoor areas. The NYS Restaurant Association submitted comments to the DOH to secure key changes to the rules to make the law easier to comply with for restaurant owners. The following information pertains ONLY to restaurants operating within New York City.

Important Policies:
  • Restaurant owners reserve the right to prohibit all dogs, other than service dogs, from entering their establishments.
  • Dogs, other than service animals, are not permitted in indoor sections of the food service establishment.
  • Restaurant owners are not required to verify dogs that are allowed in outdoor areas are licensed and vaccinated against rabies. This was originally required in the DOH’s proposed rules, but the Association worked to have it removed.
  • DOH requires that all operators that choose to allow dogs to be in their outdoor areas post signage at or near the entrance with the following statement:
    • "Companion dogs are only allowed in certain outdoor dining area(s) of this establishment. Only service dogs are allowed in other parts of this establishment. Your companion dog must be licensed and currently vaccinated against rabies to remain in the outdoor dining area with you. You are responsible for controlling your dog at all times."
  • The owner of any dog that menaces, threatens or bites and person or other dog must be asked to leave.
  • If a dog does bite or cause injury to a person a report must be filed by the restaurant owner within 24 hours. The report must be submitted to “311” by telephone or electronically.
  • Dogs must not obstruct the 36-inch aisle space between tables.
  • Dogs must not touch dining surfaces.
  • The owner must have a barrier or “effectively limit” contact between dogs inside the sidewalk café and people and dogs on the sidewalk.

For more detailed information please read here.

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