LEE COUNTY, Fla. - Lee County is looking into a new law that would allow you to bring your dog to restaurants, and eat with your four-legged friend outside. But not everyone thinks this is a good idea.
Percy is Mary Ann Alexandar's eyes. He is her guide dog. "We've fought very hard as people needing service animals. This is not a luxury, this is a necessity," she said.
She's worried allowing people to bring dogs that aren't trained service animals to restaurants will do more harm than good.
"The greatest number of injuries that occur to service animals occur as a result as pets - loose or uncontrolled pets. If he were to be bitten by an animal that has some disease, it would be disastrous," she said.
A new law would allow restaurants in unincorporated Lee County to apply for a permit that would let people sit and dine with their dogs outside. The state allowed "doggie dining" in 2006, but left it up to cities and counties to decide for themselves.
If approved it doesn't mean you'll start seeing dogs at all of the restaurants. It will be up to each restaurant to decide if it will allow dogs or not.
Blue Point Oyster Bar & Grill at the Bell Tower Shops already caters to canines."I've never had a problem with any of the animals that come in, they all seem to get along," said employee Denise Mayhew. "People are very happy to bring in their pets. A lot of time when they are traveling as well, they don't want to leave them in the car."
Lee County tells WINK News its never had any complaints about dogs in outside restaurant patios. Cape Coral and Naples already have similar ordinances.
A public hearing on the matter is schedule for June 17th at the Lee County Commissioner meeting.