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Old February 19th, 2004, 08:43 AM
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Bill Would Allow Hawaii Residents To Dine With Pets

Bill Would Allow Hawaii Residents To Dine With Pets

HONOLULU -- A Hawaii Department of Health committee will discuss this week a proposal that may give a new meaning to the term "doggie bag."

There's a move afoot in Honolulu to allow pet owners to dine out with their dogs, or cats, or any four-legged friend.

State Sen. Fred Hemmings has proposed legislation that would change health rules to permit restaurants to set aside outdoor seating areas for pets and their owners.

It comes up for a vote Thursday before Hawaii's Advisory Council on Food Protection.

Hemmings said Hawaii is behind Europe and many other states in allowing furry friends at the dinner table. Hemmings said he got the idea while dining at a small cafe in France, where he saw an elderly woman dining with her tiny dog seated next to her.

If the measure makes it through the entire approval process, Hawaii would become the 22nd state with pet-friendly dining rules.

The Hawaiian Humane Society enthusiastically backs the measure, but public support appears mixed, even among pet owners
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