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Dog Lovers Barking Mad After Concord Restaurant's Policy Change Bans Pets From Patio

CONCORD (CBS SF) -- After a history of catering to man's best friend, a Bay Area restaurant is changing its policy that allowed dogs on their outdoor patios, and that is causing some growls from dog lovers.

The Lazy Dog in Concord opened last November, and welcomed pet dogs into their outdoor patio.

"It has always been considered pet-friendly. Bring your dogs, that's what it's about. It has dog food on the menu," Concord resident Dee Covey said.

But, somebody began howling to the health department about dog hair on a plate, and an inspector was sent out.

"There was evidence that there was dogs in the patio, and possibly the food was contaminated with dog hair," Environmental Health Supervisor Michelle DiMaggio said.

So, the county banned dogs from the patio, effective Monday.

"It was unique, and I never had such a restaurant that catered to dogs. And now that they don't, I don't know if I'd really come back," Beth Guzman said.

But, state law bans all non-service dogs from restaurants, and they didn't know about Lazy Dog's policy, even though it was mentioned in news reports about the restaurant's opening, and there is even a sign posted on the patio gate warning diners.

When asked if the initial inspector missed the sign, DiMaggio said he may have entered from the back door.

A bill working through the State Legislature would allow pets in outdoor restaurant areas under controlled conditions.

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