The Florida Department of Health is appealing an administrative law judge’s ruling that backed Tampa and Orlando bars in a dispute about whether dogs should be allowed in the establishments.
The department on Friday filed a notice that is an initial step in challenging the ruling at the 1st District Court of Appeal.
Administrative Law Judge Lynne Quimby-Pennock issued a 29-page order last month that said the Department of Health had not adequately revised a rule to prevent Pups Pub Tampa and Pups Pub Orlando from allowing customers to bring pets to the dog-friendly bars.
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 order.
Quimby-Pennock ruled that the Department of Health did not properly go through a process to adopt a rule that would keep dogs out of the bars. As is common, the notice filed Friday did not detail arguments the department will make at the Tallahassee-based.
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