H.B. NO.



H.D. 1
















SECTION 1. In recognition of the bond between humans and animals and the status of pets as family members, many Hawaii businesses are implementing pet-friendly policies to better serve the needs of their customers.

The legislature finds that restauranteurs, however, are at a disadvantage. State administrative rules prohibit the presence of non-service animals in restaurants. Some pet owners attempt to circumvent these rules by misrepresenting pets as service animals, which is a violation of state law.

The legislature finds that allowing restauranteurs the option to welcome dogs gives their businesses the freedom to better serve their customers and gives dog-owning patrons more dining options to consider visiting with their dog. This change would offer an opportunity for businesses to choose to adopt such policies to increase revenues and broaden their customer base.

The legislature further finds that reasonable safeguards can prevent risks to public health that might otherwise result from adopting such a policy. A study published in 2013 in the Journal of Environmental Health found no reported incidents associated with allowing pets in restaurants and recommended following the normal safety, sanitation, and hygiene practices to minimize any threat to human health. Nine states have passed laws allowing restauranteurs to adopt dog-friendly policies in order to better serve their customers and in recognition of the growing bond between pets and their owners.

The purpose of this Act is to authorize restaurants to allow dogs under certain conditions.

SECTION 2. Chapter 321, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended by adding a new section to be appropriately designated and to read as follows:

"321‑   Dogs allowed in restaurants. (a) At the discretion of the owner or manager of a restaurant, a restaurant patron may bring a dog into a restaurant with an outside dining area with a separate entrance to the outside dining area under the following conditions:

(1) The dog shall be under the control of the patron at all times and in a carrier or on a leash that is held by the patron or tied to the patron's table;

(2) The dog shall remain within the patron's seating area and on the floor;

(3) The dog shall remain in the designated location or area of the restaurant pursuant to subsection (b);

(4) The dog shall not obstruct pathways, interfere with the activities of the restaurant's employees, or enter the food preparation area;

(5) The dog shall not disturb or interact with other patrons or dogs, except by invitation;

(6) The dog shall be housebroken; provided that if the dog relieves itself within the restaurant, the patron shall be responsible for thoroughly cleaning up after the dog and any affected areas;

(7) The patron shall not leave the dog unattended at any time; and

(8) Any other conditions that the owner or manager of the restaurant imposes.

(b) A restaurant that permits dogs in the restaurant shall:

(1) Determine and designate the location or area and amount of space in the restaurant where patrons may be accompanied by dogs;

(2) Prohibit food-service employees from having direct contact with a dog while on duty;

(3) Require that any food-service employee who comes into contact with a dog wash their hands as required by law; and

(4) Post at each entrance a sign displaying the message "Dogs are allowed in this restaurant", and shall also post adjacent to that sign the list of conditions in subsection (a), including a clear description of any additional conditions imposed by the owner or manager of the restaurant.

(c) Pursuant to title 28 Code of Federal Regulations section 35.136, or if any of the conditions in subsection (a) are not met, the owner or manager of the restaurant may require the patron to remove the dog from the restaurant.

(d) The restaurant patron who brings the dog into the restaurant and the dog's owner, if the owner is not the patron, shall be liable for all property damage and personal injury that the dog causes while in the restaurant.

(e) For purposes of this section, the term "restaurant" means any place where food is served or provided to the public at a charge, including outside dining areas, regardless of whether the food is consumed on or off the premises.

(f) If any provision of this section conflicts with federal law governing service animals, federal law shall prevail.

(g) Any patron that misrepresents a dog as a service animal to circumvent the requirements of this section shall be subject to fines and penalties pursuant to 347-2.6."

SECTION 3. New statutory material is underscored.

SECTION 4. This Act shall take effect on January 1, 2150.


Report Title:

Dogs; Restaurants



Allows dogs in restaurants at the restaurant owner's or manager's discretion provided that certain conditions are met. (HB681 HD1)




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