NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — Never mind the doggie bag: Spot wants a seat at the outdoor table, or rather under it.

As 1010 WINS’ Gary Baumgarten reported, right now in New York you can take your pet pooch to an outdoor eating area so long as Fido is secured on the outside of a railing.

But now, lawmakers are pushing a bill through that would allow you to keep your dog at your side.

Many dog owners, like Albert, whose dog Eleanor was on the sidewalk while he was eating on the other side, think the move is great.

“She’s thrilled, she’s thrilled about this law. She’s so excited,” he said.

But others say it’s disgusting to have dogs mingle with you while you eat, citing health and safety concerns.

One woman said she once had her meal stolen by a dog who was allowed, illegally, inside the railing of a restaurant, Baumgarten reported.

American public health officials have long banned pet dogs from eateries, out of concerns including potential biting or transmitting germs to people’s food. A 2013 study in the Journal of Environmental Health found such risks haven’t been clearly quantified amid slim research.

California, Florida, Maryland, New Mexico and some other states and communities around the country have opened restaurant patios to dogs within the last decade; North Carolina even approved cats, too.

After getting a unanimous OK from New York’s Senate, advocates are pressing its Assembly to sign on this spring.

(TM and © Copyright 2015 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2015 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)


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