Lawmaker pushes for dog-friendly dining

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB)- English Mastiff Martha Stewart Washington accompanies her owner, Michael DiSanto just about everywhere.

“I take her to the park a lot, I take her on hikes and out for walks and if there are stores that allow pets in them, whether it be pet stores or what not, I take her as much as I can,” DiSanto told News 4.

If the State Assembly gives a thumbs up and the Governor signs off on a new piece of legislation, DiSanto will also be allowed to bring Martha to outdoor restaurants.

Senator Kemp Hannon introduced the legislation, which was passed in the Senate Wednesday.

It would change the state health law, to give restaurants the option of allowing guests like Martha to dine with their owners.

“I think that’s so great, especially with the weather that we’re having, it’s just so beautiful,” Jordan Purse of Buffalo told News 4.

“It is done on an option basis for the owner of the restaurant. And there is a series in the legislation of regulations that must be followed,” Sen. Hannon said.

For example, the restaurant must ensure there is no contamination of food or utensils. And of course, dogs can’t sit at the table.

There will also be separate outdoor entrances for dogs, and food service workers can’t pet their canine customers.

“As long as they bring well balanced, well behaved, well trained dogs, I think it’ll be a great thing,” DiSanto told News 4.

Read the full bill here. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review. Note: Comments containing links are not allowed.

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