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LA Eateries May Now Offer Doggie Dining

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(credit: Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)

(credit: Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)

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LOS ANGELES (CBS) — At many Los Angeles County restaurants, dogs will be made to feel as welcome as their owners under a new policy announced Monday.

Effective immediately, eateries with outdoor dining areas have the option to invite dog owners to chow down with their pets, county officials said.

Though it will be up to each restaurants’ discretion whether to allow animals in outdoor dining areas, the new policy is sure to be a boon to local eateries and the larger community, said county Supervisor Don Knabe.

“Guidelines have been established to protect food safety and ensure safety for all patrons,” said Jonathan E. Fielding, the county’s top health officer. “We urge all dog owners to follow these guidelines in order to provide the best possible dining experience for both people and dogs.”

Among other stipulations, the new guidelines prohibit food preparation on the patios and prohibit restaurant employees from having direct contact with pets.

In addition, eatery owners are obligated to follow local city ordinances related to sidewalk, public nuisance and sanitation issues, authorities said.

The new policy affects LA County restaurants inspected by the Public Health Department. Areas not subject to the policy include Pasadena, Long Beach and Vernon.

(©2012 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)

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