For the last couple of weeks, much of my correspondence has been going to the dogs. The MayorSlay.com staff has responded to hundreds and hundreds of emails sent by four-legged Champs, Humphreys, Harringtons, Divas -- and their canine cousins and human guardians - in response to my question about bringing dogs to outside dining areas in City restaurants. Many of the writers included pictures of dogs sitting companionably under the tables of some of the City’s most pleasant outdoor patios.
It is currently not legal - in Missouri and in most states - to bring most dogs to restaurants, cafes, and bars. Some restaurants, though, have allowed the practice, usually on outdoor dining patios - and, until someone complained, the practice has continued.
All the canine writers and most of my human correspondents saw no problem with the practice and said that they would strongly support a change that would make doggie dining - in outside areas, for well-behaved, healthy animals - legal.
Preliminary research done by the City’s legal department suggests that could be done in two ways: (1) by a change in state law that would remove the matter from the rulemaking power of the state Health Department; or (2) by convincing the state Health Department to change the rule.
Without a state rule on the subject, a local ordinance, such as one being prepared by Ald. Lyda Krewson, could set strong hygiene practices and reasonable dog/owner behavior criteria that would qualify restaurants willing to meet them for permits to establish special “With Dog” dining areas.
I will keep you updated on this issue.