The City of Abilene is considering enacting an ordinance that would allow dogs on certain restaurant patios.
Right now, dogs are banned from all food establishments under the Texas Food Establishment Rules.
Abilene has adopted the blanket ban, per TFER, but City officials recently learned they can grant variances to certain businesses to allow dogs on their patios.
These businesses must have an outdoor patio with a separate entrance that would keep dogs from going inside the food establishment, as the dogs will never be allowed inside restaurants or playground areas.
Businesses must also display signs that read, "DOG FRIENDLY PATIO: DOG ACCESS TO OUTDOOR PATIO ONLY", and "to report a dog incident, please contact Abilene Animal Services".
In the coming weeks, city council members will decide on enacting an ordinance that would enable them to grant variances to allow dogs on restaurant patios in Abilene.
If the ordinance is enacted, businesses wishing to allow dogs on their patios will have to apply for a variance with the City.