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Dog regulations, dining allowances (new law)

Published (5/30/2008)
By Craig Green
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What began as a bill to strengthen provisions regulating dangerous dogs is now a law that also allows restaurant patrons to have their dogs join them for a bite to eat.

The new law, sponsored by Rep. Michael Paymar (DFL-St. Paul) and Sen. Ellen Anderson (DFL-St. Paul), increases the surety bond required by an owner of a dangerous dog from $50,000 to $300,000 and prohibits dog ownership for anyone who has repeatedly been convicted of crimes involving dangerous dogs.

All dangerous dogs must be sterilized, and owners must notify animal control authorities if the dog is moved to a new location.

A dangerous dog may be destroyed for inflicting great bodily harm on someone without provocation, or participating in an attack where there was more than one dog. Before animal control can take action, however, the owner must be given an opportunity for a hearing.

These provisions take effect Aug. 1, 2008.

The provision to allow dogs to dine with their owners was proposed by Rep. Frank Hornstein (DFL-Mpls).

A municipality may issue permits for bars and restaurants to allow customers to bring their dogs with them to designated outdoor areas. The dog must be on a leash, under reasonable control and is not permitted on the chairs, tables or any other furnishings. Employees are not permitted to touch the dogs, and the dogs must be kept away from serving dishes, utensils and other food service items.

Dogs can join their owners effective May 16, 2008.


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