NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WSMV) – State lawmakers will consider a bill that would prohibit emotional support animals (ESAs) from indoor restaurants and other food service establishments.
- Kirk Herbstreit’s dog Ben is ready for college football title game
- Former Elvis impersonator adopts a dog named Elvis
- We Start 2024 by Interviewing the World’s First Dog Speedrunner
- UNBREAKABLE SPIRIT: THE TRANSFORMATION OF HADDIE, THE ‘FIGHTING BAIT’ DOG
- Story of Neglected Guard Dog Inspires Local Policy Changes
The bill was filed for introduction Wednesday by Rep. Kirk Haston, R-Lobelville, and Sen. Page Walley, R-Savannah. It would prohibit “emotional support animals that are not trained, or being trained, to perform tasks or work for a person with a disability from indoor areas of food service establishments.”
Matthew Johnson had his dog, Ruger, at a West Nashville cafe on Thursday. He thinks individual businesses should make the choice whether or not to allow ESAs.
“I think the world, we need more dogs, I can’t tell you how many people will approach my dog, not even look at me, but look at him and their eyes light up,” Johnson said. “I think it should be up to the business owner and personally if you ban my dog, you don’t get my money.”
State law already prohibits “pet dogs” from public indoor food service establishments, but this new bill would also prohibit ESAs.
“We have a big, big popularity of taking our dogs into grocery stores, into restaurants,” Kossie Gardner said. “I see it both ways, I have a dog but I do not take my dog into restaurants because I do not want to be around animals when I eat.”
The new bill will be up for debate in this year’s General Assembly.
Copyright 2024 WSMV. All rights reserved.