Local News

Wake attorney: Dogs OK on restaurant patios

Posted August 24, 2009 4:16 p.m. EDT
Updated August 24, 2009 4:55 p.m. EDT

Wake County restaurants can continue to allow dogs in outside seating areas, County Attorney Scott Warren said Monday.

Warren took a look at the state statues for food service establishments after media reports implied that state law bans the practice.

“As written, it’s my opinion that the primary intent (of the rule) is to keep animals out of kitchen areas where food is prepared, and out of pantry areas where food is stored,” Warren said.  “And so, unless protected by some federal law, the restaurant decides for itself whether or not to allow dogs on patio areas.”

County health inspectors will be informed of the opinion and asked to brief restaurant owners, County Manager David Cooke said.

“Sometimes the rules can be vague,” Cooke said. “That’s when local governments have an opportunity to establish a policy that fits the community and still protects the public's health.”