After food safety officials in Wake County interpreted a decades-old regulation by telling restaurants they would be ordered to ban pets from outdoor seating areas, a very heated public debate quickly followed. Now Wake County attorneys have determined that the regulation currently in place does not explicitly ban pets from restaurant patios and therefore will not be enforced.
When news of the pet ban hit the internet Friday, many people were furious. Restaurants claimed they should decide whether or not to allow dogs. Dog owners said they should be allowed to decide whether or not to bring their dogs. Non dog owners said they should decide whether or not to eat at pet-friendly restaurants. While there were also many people who supported the regulation, County Attorney Scott Warren ultimately decided that the decision should be left to restaurants.