Sit. Stay. Dine.
Gov. Jerry Brown signed a bill Thursday allowing dogs to dine with owners if seated in an outdoor section of a restaurant.
"It will soon be legal to take your beagle with you to dinner," Mariko Yamada, the assembly member who championed the bill, said in a statement. "I wish everyone ‘bone-appétit’."
But those who aren’t as dog-friendly don’t have to worry – the law doesn’t force restaurant owners to allow dogs in establishments.
Owners have discretion on whether a dog is allowed to dine alfresco, according to the bill.
"Amidst all the horrific and depressing news around us, I hope this bill helps make people a little happier, and businesses who wish to accommodate diners with dogs safe from being unnecessarily cited," Yamada wrote on her Facebook page.
The restaurant also must have an outdoor entrance that doesn’t require the pet to walk through the restaurant to get to the outdoor area.
Dogs will have to be on a leash and well behaved, and they can’t sit on chairs or benches.
The bill also says that wait staff cannot have direct contact with a dog or pet them, and if they do, they must sanitize their hands.
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Pets cannot be in the same area where food is being prepared.
Though the bill applies to restaurants statewide, cities can still pass local regulations that ban pooches from restaurant patios.
"We can't wait to legally come to dinner with our human friends," a Facebook group supporting AB 1965 wrote.
The law goes into effect Jan. 1.
Sutter Brown, the first dog of California and Gov. Brown’s pooch, was not available for comment.