Okay, But What If the Dogs Start Begging?

OKAY, BUT WHAT IF THE DOGS START BEGGING? Panhandling within 8 ft. of an outdoor dining area at a Houston restaurant or cafe will now be a misdemeanor, after a unanimous vote by city council today. (Previously designated no-soliciting zones: within 8 ft. of ATMs, parking meters, bus stops, and gas pumps.) Separately, the folks behind Paws on Patios yesterday reported a measure of success in their ongoing campaign to relax city rules that prohibit restaurants and bars from allowing customers’ dogs in their outdoor areas: The mayor’s office has told them they’ll soon get a chance to review redrafted Health Dept. regulations covering the practice. [Houston Politics and Paws on Patios, via Eater Houston]

21 Comment

  • and the question on everyone’s mind, does the provision for dogs apply to all pets such as my pet piglet?

  • Wait until Ken Hoffman hears about this!

    Doesn’t the City of Houston know that this West U resident controls all dog access to restaurants in the area?

  • How about a 20 foot no-panhandling zone around running vehicles (like at intersections or parking lots)? When I worked downtown, I was solicited almost every morning at our outdoor lot’s ticket machine but I couldn’t imagine taking a cop off more important duties just to shew away vagrants. Seriously, is this even going to be inforced?…

  • Way to go Paws on Patios!!!

  • Eight feet. A distance only a government official could come up with.

  • Joel – do you REALLY have a pet pig? ‘Cause I have two. Houston is rather anti-pig (against ordinance to keep them in city limits) so I think the rules, if they relax them, will specify dogs only. I’m not sure I want anyone’s pet cat wandering on top of the tables. Or snake.
    And pigs, while their table manners are exquisite (contrary to popular opinion) are apt to want to taste a bite of what everyone else is having. :-)

  • Yeah, 8′ is a curious distance. Maybe that was deemed to be Cane-swinging zone.
    I’m happy to know about the law, though; just yesterday I was approached at the gas pump; family of 7 in a Suburban with no money for gas or meals . . .
    Next time I’ll read them The Panhandler’s Act, I will!

  • Texas….where DOGS enjoy greater status than HUMANS. Speaking of dogs…You all deserve Rick Perry. Keep him there. Your collective village needs its idiot more than the US does.

  • What, not enough balls on city council to just outlaw begging altogether? Figures, when it comes to running this city that outfit is about as useless as teats on a boar hog, as Pa-Pa would say.

    I too had a guy in a Suburban hit me up for a “few” gallons of gas at the pump… didn’t notice a family. I told him he should get a bike. I pretty much get begged at several times a day during my travels around town.

    As for catering to the dysfunctional dog owners – if someone brings a dog to eat out where I’m eating I’ll be requesting a refund for my eats and vacate the premises.

  • Why do I keep getting this weird feeling that the people who are demanding this ordinance are the same ones who demand more “pedestrian friendly development”?

  • Note yo markd: Outlawing all forms of solicitation inside the City would make all manner of legal and useful activity illegal, for instance, soliciting charitable donations, church tithes, and my favorite, political contributions. Perhaps it was not so much a lack of gonads on Council as a sudden burst of intelligence.

  • Oh come on, isn’t it obvious? 8 ft is just the right distance so that the dreaded vagrants must panhandle while standing in the street, where they will be run down by the Suburban-driving family of 7 racing to the restaurant on fumes so that their pooch can beg for food on the patio.

  • sorry Flake, i certainly don’t. just sick of hearing about dogs and cats ad nauseum so trying to shift conversation back to the post last week or so about pigs.

  • markd, would you like a current list of where not to go? I’d consider a child yelling at his parents and calling them “f***heads” (Baker Street) or people changing their babies on the table surrounded by people trying to eat to be considerably more dysfunctional, neither of which I’ve witnessed happening with dogs.

  • Panhandlers are obnoxious, and they are everywhere. Dogs can be obnoxious but they are not nearly as obnoxious as a panhandler.
    I don’t understand the people against pets on patios. You are not required to allow pets on your patio if you are a restaurant owner. If you are the owner and you do allow them, nobody is forcing you as an individual to eat there.

    If you don’t want to be around dogs on a patio, simply don’t eat there, or go there for drinks. Its that easy.

    We don’t need somebody telling us we can’t do this…there is ample competition in the restaurant/bar industry that you will have plenty of choices…If your favorite place decides to allow dogs on patios, and that bothers you, perhaps you should stop going. Vote with your wallet.

  • hdtex, where do you live?

  • I agree with the intent of the law, but I wonder what real effect this will have.. it’s not like homeless people are going to be aware of the change, or like they would observe the law anyways.. guessing the net effect is just going to be more homeless people in the justice system, on the taxpayer dime.

  • Now if only they would keep people’s screaming kids 8 feet away from my pleasant dinner…

  • Woof, woof, please take me to a restaurant where I can sprawl out on a nice hard surface, smell tempting food, and be expected to ignore other dog butts, not jump after scraps, and be adorable. Ohh, I feel an itchy flea bite in my special area.

  • There may be method to these seemingly-unrelated topics – I’ve never seen a panhandler approach a restaurant patron with a dog.

  • More Annise passive/aggressive B.S. !!