At first glance, it would appear that Orlando state representative Bruce Antone, D-Orlando, has proposed a law that is already on the books.
His proposed bill, HB243, would prohibit household pets from traveling through a restaurant to get to an outdoor dining area.
Except I thought that is already the law.
Florida was one of the first states to enact legislation on dogs at restaurants when then governor Jeb Bush in 2006 signed the “doggie dining bill.” It had been sponsored by Rep. Sheri McInvale, R-Orlando, and was signed at a ceremony on the patio of Sam Snead’s in downtown Orlando (now 310 Lakeside). Ironically, Sam Snead’s did not have a permit to allow dogs on its patio at the time of the signing because the city of Orlando had not yet enacted its own ordinance. So, that was awkward.
I wrote about the issue in my aptly named Chow Hound column in the Oct. 6 issue of the Orlando Sentinel’s Calendar section, which featured dogs sitting on chairs at a table on a restaurant’s patio, which was also a no-no from the get-go. Here’s an excerpt of that column: