Dog Puppy

Arguments Set In Florida Dog-Friendly Bar Case

Dog Puppy
Dog: Source: Unsplash

The 1st District Court of Appeal on Friday scheduled arguments Feb. 13 in a dispute about whether dogs should be allowed in bars.

A three-judge panel of the Tallahassee-based appeals court will hear the case, which involves Tampa and Orlando bars.

The Florida Department of Health appealed after Administrative Law Judge Lynne Quimby-Pennock last year ruled the department had not properly revised a rule to prevent Pups Pub Tampa and Pups Pub Orlando from allowing customers to bring pets to the dog-friendly bars.

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The case centered on sanitation certificates that county health departments, which are overseen by the state Department of Health, issue to establishments.

Pups Pub Tampa, for example, was issued a sanitation certificate in December 2020, with an agreement that it would not serve food.

Also, the pub took steps such as installing a gate to keep dogs out of the drink-service area. But in June 2022, the Tampa bar was cited for a violation related to having dogs in the business.

The Orlando bar, meanwhile, received a sanitation certificate and opened in July 2022 but was cited for a violation less than a month later, according to Quimby-Pennock’s ruling.

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Quimby-Pennock said the Department of Health did not properly go through a process to adopt a rule that would keep dogs out of the bars. But the appeals court in November issued a stay of Quimby-Pennock’s ruling as the legal fight continued.

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