Nevada Legislature: Virginia City wants to let dogs in bars

Nevada Sen. James Settelmeyer, R-Minden, presents a bill that would allow dogs in bars at the Legislative Building in Carson City, Nev., on Monday, Feb. 16, 2015. The measure faces opposition from the food service industry. (AP Photo/Cathleen Allison)

Nevada Sen. James Settelmeyer, R-Minden, presents a bill that would allow dogs in bars at the Legislative Building in Carson City, Nev., on Monday, Feb. 16, 2015. The measure faces opposition from the food service industry. (AP Photo/Cathleen Allison)

Tavern owners in Virginia City have asked the state to allow dogs in bars.

Sen. James Settelmeyer, R-Minden, told the Senate Government Affairs Committee Monday bar operators on the Comstock have generally let dog owners bring their pets into the bar and usually, it’s not a problem despite the state health laws forbidding canines in a bar or restaurant unless they are service dogs.

“What’s occurring is the animals will be there and everything is fine until last call or some one gets upset,” he said. “It’s no problem until somebody gets cut off or gets fired. Then they report it.”

He said the bill is intended to apply only to stand-alone bars, not restaurants and other establishments.

While representatives from the humane society and other animal organizations said they back SB105, health officials objected citing health reasons.

Robert Sack of Washoe County’s environmental health department said his department opposes the bill.

“Dogs in any food establishment, which a bar falls into, is just not good public health policy,” Sack said.

He said the law already allows a bar or restaurant to set up an outside area where pets are permitted.

“You’d really need to make it so it’s an area outside the food establishment,” Sack said.

He was joined by other health officials around the state.

The committee took no action on the plan.

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