Making room at the table for dogs

Apr 15, 2013

A state lawmaker wants to open the doors of Michigan restaurants to dogs of all shapes and sizes.

Currently, only service animals, like guide-dogs, are allowed in restaurants.

Margaret O’Brien wants to change that.   The Kalamazoo County Republican wants to let local communities and restaurants decide whether they will permit dogs to sit with their owners at outdoor tables.

“Some pet owners say they love their pet more than their children, because they give so much love,” says O’Brien, “This will allow them to take them to the restaurant.”

The legislation applies only to dogs.

O’Brien says her bill is intended to help make Michigan’s tourism industry more competitive.

The Michigan Restaurant Association has taken a neutral position on the bill.

O’Brien’s bill goes before the state House Tourism Committee on Thursday.