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Is New York State Discriminating Against Cat Owners With New Dog-Centric Restaurant Policy?

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The bill only mentions dogs.


Is the New York State Senate a group of law-making cat-haters? According to the Times Union, the Senate passed legislation yesterday that gives restaurants the right to allow their customers to bring their dogs to "outdoor dining areas," but just dogs. There is no mention of cats in the bill. But as the Times Union points out, "Can a state be truly free when you can’t take your cat to a restaurant?"

Sponsored by Long Island republican senator Kemp Hannon, the bill amends the current health code with a new set of pet-related requirements. It's a lot more work for restaurants who want to be able to let their customers bring their dogs. The restaurants "would have to ensure that there is no contamination of food and tainted utensils or equipment." The legislation does not require restaurants to honor the policy, nor does it automatically give customers the right to bring their pets to dinner.

Can a state be truly free when you can’t take your cat to a restaurant?

A spokesperson for Hannon notes that the bill does not cover cats because the "groups that called for the legislation did not advocate for cats." The Times Union notes that the version passed by the New York State Senate is similar to legislation passed in California, that also does not include cats. However, many could care less about California's law. As one commenter puts it, "Any pet on a leash or in a carrier should be allowed — cats, pot-bellied pigs, rabbits. We don’t have to follow the narrow law from CA- We’re NY!"

Eater New York writes that the bill still needs approval by the State Assembly to become a law. Diners fond of felines many not be able to bring their cats to a meal, but at least they still have cat cafes.