Feb 1 2008
09:34 am

Many communities encourage pet owners to bring their dogs to outdoor cafes. And remember our City Mayor IS on the record as saying he wants to make Knoxville "the dog friendliest city in the country." If you love dogs support this legislation. These details were sent by Jennie Huetal at the dog site


Bill summary -

Municipal Government - Authorizes municipalities having a population of at least 100,000 to establish an ordinance and permitting process that would enable restaurants to allow admittance of patron companion dogs into designated outdoor dining areas. - Amends TCA Title 4, Chapter 3, Part 18 and Title 6, Chapter 54.

The Senate Bill number is SB 2725 and the House Bill number is HB 2807.

(link...) - House
Bill Detail

(link...) - Senate
Bill Detail

(link...) -
Fiscal Impact link - shows that permitting and compliance will add over
50,000 to state.

smalc's picture

Let me up front that I am

Let me say up front that I am not a "dog person." Never had an inside dog, never had a desire to take a dog to a restaurant.

But is there an overwhelming desire for people to take their dogs to restaurants? I hate to be a hater, but don't our legislators have more pressing issues?

I think misinterpret the fiscal impact document. It states that permit fees will generate $50,000 for a local government, but the cost of establishing and administering would $50,000. So, revenue neutral.

DnB's picture

There are quite a few folks

There are quite a few folks that take their dogs to the Downtown Grill and Brewery. It's especially nice if you live downtown, are out walking the dog, and can stop and chat and have a beverage with friends sitting outside.

Mello's picture

Good thing!

Those of us who travel with our pets welcome this concept! Far too many times our only choice of dining while traveling is to pull up to a take out window and try to find a shady public park to dine at.

Any restaurant in Knoxville that offers this should be advertising to the folks making the Michigan to Florida drive.

FYI- if you are planning a trip through New Mexico there are many 'petios' available! (link...)

talidapali's picture


I loved that about New Mexico when I lived there. My dog, Tweety, went everywhere with me on my days off. Any restaurant that did not have a Petio did not get my business.

"You can't fix stupid..." ~ Ron White"
"I never said I wasn't a brat..." ~ Talidapali

CathyMcCaughan's picture

we need a law for this?

We take our dog to the sidewalk tables at McAlister's all the time. No employee or customer has ever complained.

gonzone's picture

I'm certain

I'm pretty sure Hooters is very dog friendly.

(ok, ok, just joking!)

bizgrrl's picture

We have taken the pupster to

We have taken the pupster to Starbucks and Atlanta Bread. No customers or employees complained at either place.

Doesn't mean they don't need a change in law. Could be there are some sort of food handling and cleanliness guidelines that prevent pets at restaurants, but certain restaurants take their chances. I doubt the police want to spend much time on this type of violation any more than they want to waste time arresting people for not picking up pet poop.

scottfrith's picture

Dog friendly

In the summer months, I've frequently seen dogs on the patios of Market Square or on Cumberland Avenue and never heard of any complaints. The dog owners were always courteous, and the pets even more so -- quietly sitting under the table and happy not to be stuck at home!

Of course, I could never bring my dogs... They'd be in everyone's lap!

Stick Thrower's picture

Smells funny

I wonder what the real purpose of this is. Obviously, many Knoxville restaurants already allow dogs in outdoor dining areas, so it seems kind of unnecessary to initiate a permitting process for something that doesn't appear to be illegal in the first place. And why in only cities over 100K?

Is some group of dog haters in Nashville, Memphis, Chattanooga, Knoxville or Clarksville trying to ban dogs? Or maybe Haslam wants to give restaurant owners some ammo to fend off complaints... ("Sorry the dog is bothering you, sir. It's legal--there's the permit on the wall.")?

And another thing... how does something like this generate $50,000? I can't imagine there would be more than 50 interested restaurants, tops, in each of the 5 cities affected. That'd be about $200 each for the permit.

I don't know... it's sponsored by Tim Burchett, so I'm just naturally suspicious of it, as is my dog.

Hayduke's picture

If you don't want your dog

If you don't want your dog eaten by Tim Burchett, keep him out of the road.

Pam Strickland's picture

I do not currently have a

I do not currently have a dog. However, I am always tickled to encounter them when out and about at places like the Brew Pub or Tomato Head.

When I lived in Little Rock, I had friends with an extremely well-behaved standard poodle. He went everywhere -- the movie store, the book store, etc. But was never allowed in grocerys or restaurants. He was happy, his humans were happy, and most of the folks they encountered were happy.

Pam Strickland

"We are what we pretend to be, so we must be careful about what we pretend to be." ~Kurt Vonnegut

internet backgammon's picture

I just can't tolerate any

I just can't tolerate any pet around my dinning table, as i don't think it is good to take pet within the restaurants while eating food. The are just made to ruin the pleasure of the food.

Ennui's picture

Hmmm. Most of the time when

Hmmm. Most of the time when I am downtown, I do notice well-behaved dogs at most of the locales mentioned in comments here. I'm not sure though about the need for legislation though. Seems more of a local matter.

I am also curious about the language of 'patron companion dog' is that specific to trained animals for the disabled? Could that provision be abused? It also seems a matter of time before someone who is not the most responsible pet owner ruins it for everyone else. Only takes one deuce when people are eating to cause a headache for management.

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