Ohio will leave it up to restaurant owners to allow dogs on patios

Gov. John Kasich signs bill that would keep local health departments from having a say.

A bill signed by Gov. John Kasich Monday would let you bring your dogs to restaurant patios unless the establishment’s owner says “no.”

State Rep. Laura Lanese, R-Grove City, sponsored House Bill 263, which would allow dogs in outdoor dining areas. The bill would block local public health officials from implementing or enforcing bans.

Restaurants would still have the ability to ban dogs, except service dogs.

Related: Health department says pets not allowed on patios

In May, the Columbus Dispatch reported that local health officials in Columbus fired off a letter to restaurants licensed by the city reminding them of the no pets rule. The same deal applies in Montgomery County: live animals aren’t allowed on the premises of a food service operation or retail food establishment.

The prohibition is to protect against potential food contamination and disease transfer. But some states have loosened or eliminated the ban.

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