Across the country, there is quite an intense debate taking place over the presence of dogs in, around, and near establishments that serve food. Many cities are trying to ban dogs from these areas over concerns about health and cleanliness, but many lawmakers (and let’s be honest, dog owners and lovers everywhere) are pushing back. The Washington D.C. Department of Health has focused its efforts in this area on a dog named Andypants Sherwood, an unofficial mascot of the Midlands beer garden.
You see, Andypants the dog can typically be found lounging in his doghouse, located on the patio of a popular and trendy bar in the Parkview area. He is a popular attraction and really adds to the atmosphere of the establishment say visitors, but a city health inspector did not agree. Peyton Sherwood, who owns the Midlands, was recently told that Andypants needed to be removed from the premises because of a health code section that prohibits dogs from bars and restaurant patios.
So, Andypants was removed from his doghouse but it appears that he isn’t the only pooch affected by the health code violation. A dog friendly establishment known as the Wonderland Ballroom in the area of Columbia Heights, also in D.C., received a similar violation. As the word spread around the area about this crackdown, many people sprang into action to overturn the rule.
Dog owners quickly began to inundate D.C. council members with complaints, prompting them to introduce emergency legislation in the hopes of repealing this doggone bad ban. While this legislation is still in limbo at this time, many people are hoping it goes through. The new language allows a proprietor to choose whether they want to welcome dogs in their establishment or not, rather than allowing government officials to decide on their behalf.