Why you can no longer bring your pets to Iowa restaurants or bars

Davenport - Its a state law that's been around for years, but its just recently getting some attention.

"We were called by the health department and told that we couldn`t have dogs in the patio anymore," said Jackie Burner, owner of Sippi's Restaurant.

Sippi's renovated its patio and was looking forward to opening it to everyone, including dog owners.

"It's unfortunate because people like to bring their pets you know, they like to eat outside," said Burner.

Recently businesses received a letter from the Scott County Health Department. It comes after two complaints were made. The letter reminds businesses about the state law prohibiting animals from restaurant or bar patios unless it's a service animal.

Some businesses say this is the first they've heard of the law.

"It's just unfortunate that you know, it's been allowed for this long and now people have become accustomed to bring in their dogs and now you`re telling them 'no'," said Burner.

Over at Grumpy's in the Village of East Davenport, the bar was getting ready to launch its new weekly event, 'Mutts and Mimosas'.

"We put a lot of work into it. We were promoting it and going on about it for over two months and we got this letter and we were like crushed," said bar owner, Randy Haskins.

Haskins has started an online petition and more than 500 people have signed it so far.

He says it's proof people want more animal friendly businesses, "This community wants it, every other city is doing it, why aren`t we?"

Grumpy's say's its filing a variance with the state, asking for approval to allow pets on its patio. That could take 30 days to review.

Businesses in Scott County say all they can do is obey the law.

"We really don`t have any choice," said Burner.

The Scott County Health Department says a business caught violating the law could receive a $330 fine or lose their license.