Some restaurant owners and patrons in a Bucks County town are fuming over a longtime policy banning dogs from restaurants with outdoor eating areas.
Dogs are a common sight in New Hope, and many restaurants in the town are known to be Fido friendly.
"We've been doing it here at The Landing for 37 years, people have been bringing their pets," explained Manager Elliot Mercer.
The Bucks County Health Department sent a letter to eateries in New Hope this summer stating dogs are not allowed at any establishment with outdoor eating areas where food and drinks are prepared.
Now the sign outside The Landing Restaurant says 'no dogs allowed.'
"I feel that it's a shame that something that people like to do and enjoy so much has been taken away from them for no logical reason," said Mercer.
County Health officials say the state law has been in effect for years, but recently health inspectors saw a spike in violations. The letter was sent to local restaurants to remind them of the no-pet policy.
Workers says the ordinance was never enforced until now.
"We've had no incidents at all so out of the blue to enforce an ordinance like that we don't feel it's appropriate or necessary."
When they're forced to turn patrons and their pooches away, employees say they point them towards the few restaurants in town that are exempt from the policy.
Bitter Bob's is one spot where canine companions are allowed and welcome.
"We're actually really happy about it just because we love dogs," said employee Rachel Davies.
Man's best friend can sit outside here because food and drinks are not prepared on the eateries patio.
"If you bring your dog we'll take a picture," smiled Davies. "We just love dogs so it's awesome and people like knowing that we welcome them here."
Those against the crackdown hope they reach a middle ground with local authorities.
"There's a bunch of people who are reaching out to the board of health expressing their disinterest with this recently new enforced rule," explained Mercer.
There is one exception to the rule, the policy does not apply to service dogs.