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New Florida bill would ban pets from inside restaurants

Reporter: Nicole Gabe
Published: Updated:

They are cute and fluffy. But a new Florida bill wants you to keep your dog out of restaurants.

Steve Rigoni takes his two Yorkshire terriers, Veto and Vinny, with him everywhere he goes.

“I carry them like this all the time,” Rigoni said. “People call them my, ‘stack em.'”

But a new bill proposed this week may restrict Rigoni from bringing his yorkies along to certain places.

The proposal calls for banning dogs and other pets from going inside or walking through restaurants and other establishments that serve food, citing the health and safety of the public. Service animals are the exception.

For sanitary reasons, Gale Orlowski does not bring her dog, Lilly, to restaurants. But she takes Lilly to stores like Home Depot.

“I just don’t think it’s appropriate,” Orlowski said. “You just don’t know what it’s going to in an environment, where they don’t know other people.”

Big Blue Brewing is known for being pet friendly and does serve food. The assistant general manager, Ricardo Rodriguez, said he understands how pets inside could cause concerns.

“Health reason and putting dogs on tables, ya know?” Rodriguez said. “That can get out of control.”

Still, in a state known for being dog friendly, Rigoni said this lawmaker is barking up the wrong tree.

“I don’t think it should be passed, to tell you the truth,” Rigoni said.