I got this e-mail from Laura today:
I was wondering, have you ever done a Top Ten "Dog Friendly" restaurants? I know places like Iggies are dog friendly. Not sure how much the health dept likes that, so I'm not sure if it's something that should be advertised/promoted or not, but I'd love to know about any other restaurants in the area that allow dogs, even if it's simply outside seating. <
I was pretty sure about inside restaurants, but not so sure about the outdoor eating area, so I picked up the phone and called the Baltimore City Health Department. ...
I ended up talking to Bernard Bochenek, who is the director of environmental health. He confirmed what I suspected, that the only dogs allowed inside a restaurant are service animals, such as a seeing-eye dog. As for outside eating areas, "As long as they are controlled and not getting in the way of other customers or the food, they are allowed."
That still doesn't help Laura. If anyone has had good luck taking his or her dog out to lunch or dinner, please post below.
The photo is of Duke, who was banned from One-Eyed Mike's a couple of years ago. I found a story by Tricia Bishop in our archives about the issues raised. In it she reported:
While Parisians are known for taking their dogs everywhere - restaurants too - Baltimore is no Paris, and health professionals says there are some good reasons for prohibiting pets.
"There's always the issue of [fleas], feces, urine, shedding hair, that kind of thing and how would you control that," said Laura Hungerford, a professor of epidemiology and doctor of veterinary medicine at the University of Maryland School of Medicine. Prohibiting animals is done "not because pets carry disease, but just because it's gross."
Most animal prohibition laws were written years ago with rats and other disease carriers in mind, rather than family pets, which today are part of more than 60 percent of households. Hungerford said the risk of getting sick from an animal is minimal, much smaller than catching something from another human, and that the main reason for banning dogs and the like has to do with behavioral issues and physical safety concerns.
(Elizabeth Malby/Sun photographer)