Bill would let Nevada bar, saloon owners welcome dogs inside their businesses

Nevada lawmakers reviewed a bill Monday that would allow people to bring their dogs with them into taverns and saloons, but it got a less-than-cuddly response from health officials concerned about slobber and dog hair in cocktails.

The Senate Government Affairs Committee discussed SB105 on Monday, which is sponsored by Sen. James Settelmeyer.

The Minden Republican said the proposal originated from constituents in the small town of Virginia City. It would allow businesses to open their doors to pups if they choose. He noted a number of eateries across the country welcome dogs.

The lawmaker noted that service animals are already allowed in bars and business owners should be allowed to cater to a dog-loving niche.

But officials from several health departments opposed the bill, saying dog hair and bodily fluids might cross-contaminate food or drink. Unruly dogs could bite patrons, and employees would have to be trained on how to safely interact with the dogs, according to lobbyist Dan Musgrove, who represents the Southern Nevada Health District and spoke against the bill.

"I'm an animal lover from birth," Musgrove said, "but in respect to this, I think we have to stand firm and say we just can't allow them inside."