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In defense of dining dogs

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Got several letters in defense of having dogs at establishments with outdoor dining. Haven't heard from anybody defending officialdom. We'll be printing other letters this week. Read the Aug. 21 story here and our Aug. 22 editorial here.


Regarding your Aug. 21 article “Wake wants dogless dining”:
I am a dog owner. State laws aside, animals do not belong inside restaurants out of common courtesy to others. Outside, however, the decision to allow pets in common areas, especially those adjacent to public thoroughfares, should be made by the restaurant and its patrons.
Wake County enforcement of the ambiguous state law restricting animals in food preparation areas will likely target locally owned businesses and merchants. The cost of enforcing this law coupled with the lost revenue from neighborhood businesses well exceeds the benefit of the regulation. Let the local community govern this matter.

Nick Stone


Restaurant owners and not the state should make the decision concerning allowing dogs in outdoor dining areas. My husband and I have frequented many area restaurants (where pets are welcome) with our well-behaved dog, and never received a complaint. We never assume that other customers will hold the same admiration for our dog that we do and keep him by our side. From my observation, many dogs are much better behaved than some kids whose parents allow them free rein at restaurants — both inside and outside.

Linda Pattison

Raleigh food and safety officials are missing the point of not allowing dogs on restaurant patios; many think of dogs as family members. If there are specific problems at a restaurant, let the owners handle it. No smoking outside, no dogs on patios; what ban is next? Crying babies with their thrown food?

Come on, officials. The 1993 ordinance is open to misinterpretation. Why not leave dogs alone? The well-behaved dog is much more enjoyed than the loud, boisterous patron who has been served too much alcohol.

Susan Gillette

North Carolina should have better to do (in this economy) than to be concerned about dogs being outside a restaurant, whether it be patio or sidewalk. When I saw your earlier article I cut it out so that I would know which restaurants I could take my Sheltie (who is well behaved) to and enjoy time with her and socialize her with other dogs.

The owners of patio or sidewalk restaurants should fight for the dogs, the dog owners and their profit margins, which would increase.

If officials ban the dogs, then they should make sure the patios are all screened to keep out flying birds and insects!

Phyllis J. terHorst


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In defense of dining dogs

You've taken the time to post to this blog. Now please take the next step like I've done and write letters to the following people with your opinion on this topic. Feel free to email them and call them as well. Please tell your friends to do the same.

Larry Michael, head of the Food Protection Branch

    Larry Michael
    Food Protection Branch
    N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources
    1632 Mail Service Center
    Raleigh, NC 27699-1632

The Food Protection Branch resides in the North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources. Larry's boss is

    Secretary Dee Freeman
    N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources
    1601 Mail Service Center, Raleigh, NC 27699-1601

Secretary Freeman's boss is the Governor:

    Governor Bev Perdue
    Office of the Governor
    20301 Mail Service Center
    Raleigh, NC 27699-0301

Your state representative and senator. If you don't know who they are you can look them up here using your zip code:


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About the blogger

Burgetta Eplin Wheeler is the associate editor of the Editorial pages, responsible for the Other Opinion page. She occasionally writes editorials. She can be reached at bwheeler@newsobserver.com or 829-4825.