Michigan Senate OKs bill to allow dogs on restaurant patios

LANSING (AP) - Patrons could bring their dogs along while eating in outdoor areas of restaurants under legislation advancing in Michigan’s Legislature.

State law generally prohibits live animals at restaurants.

The legislation — which supporters say could boost tourism — was approved 32-4 by the Senate Wednesday and sent to the House for consideration.

The bill would allow dogs on restaurant patios under certain circumstances.

Dogs would have to be leashed and couldn’t pass through the restaurant interior or sit in chairs or on customers’ laps. Patios would have to be free of dog hair. Surfaces contaminated by dog waste would have to be disinfected immediately.

The legislation wouldn’t require restaurant owners to allow dogs, and local communities could pass ordinances prohibiting dogs on restaurant patios.

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