MANCHESTER, NH – To Share Brewing customers may have missed their warm canine welcome in recent months, but it looks like they won’t have to miss it for much longer.
On Thursday, the New Hampshire Senate passed should adopt a recommendation on HB 249, a bill that updates the pet insurance industry and also allows restaurateurs to bring their pets to work with the exception of food preparation following an amendment at the end of February.
The bill became necessary after the enactment of a bill in 2022 that allowed pet dogs in outdoor restaurant dining areas. This bill banned all dogs of service dogs from entering a restaurant, inadvertently making no distinction between pet dogs owned by customers and pet dogs owned by restaurant owners, repealing the existing law that allowed restaurant owners to have their dogs in non-food preparation areas of Restaurants.
According to Aaron and Jenni Share, co-owners of To Share Brewing on Union Street, there has only been one case where this law has been enforced in the state of New Hampshire and it was against their dog, Blue.
An anonymous complaint to the Manchester Department of Health led to Blue’s expulsion on the understanding that his presence inside the building would breach the new law. Aaron and Jenni checked with the office of Manchester Mayor Joyce Craig, who later confirmed with the Department of Health that no other municipality had acted within the law so far.
They also checked with several other restaurants and found no other places that conflicted with this law.
The actions reached out to state representative Matt Wilhelm (D-Manchester) to help resolve the issue.
Wilhelm, who is one of the Stocks representatives at Concord, welcomed Thursday’s news as well as efforts in the House to address the issue.
Dogs bring companionship and joy to New Hampshire families, including small business owners, and I appreciate the House Commerce Committee’s bipartisan effort to quickly correct this oversight and restore the law allowing homeowners’ dogs. in their workplace,” Wilhelm said.
State Sen. Bill Gannon (R-Sandown) was also pleased with the passage of the law.
“As an animal lover myself, I understand the deep connection between owners and beloved animals,” Gannon said. “By introducing HB 249, we are not only promoting a responsible pet insurance industry, but also recognizing the importance of allowing pets in public spaces, especially restaurants. This bill will provide clear guidelines for the pet insurance market and give restaurateurs the confidence to welcome dogs, improving the overall experience for pet owners and attracting more customers in these establishments.
While the Actions were frustrated with what seemed to be the uneven enforcement of this law, they are happy that Blue can return in the near future.
“(Customers) are sad, right? Blue is part of the family here, she has been our glorified host for sure and I think everyone will be really happy to have her back,” said Jenni Share.
The bill is now heading to Governor Sununu’s desk, with the revised law coming into force on January 1, 2024 if he signs it.