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Coffee Labs Fights To Let Dogs Into Tarrytown Shop

TARRYTOWN, N.Y. – The owners of Coffee Labs Roasters, Mike Love and Alicia Kelligrew, are once again campaigning to allow dogs in their coffee shop on Main Street.

“We're ready to fight this full-force with them now,” Love said.

He and Kelligrew recently learned that there was no chance for the coffee shop to get a dog waiver approved by the county health department, although they said they had been told previously that it would be approved if they followed a set of guidelines.

The health department did not return two phone calls for comment on the matter.

Coffee Labs Roasters had been dog-friendly for seven years, allowing customers to bring their pets inside. The shop’s name is inspired by the owners' three dogs who loved to drink coffee. Dogs were banned from entering in 2010 after the Westchester County Health Department told Love that the shop needed a dog waiver.

“They wanted rules and regulations and guidelines to go by,” Love said. “So they gave us a letter saying that, ‘Here are the guidelines, here's the waiver application,’” and, “‘Do this, do that and we don't have a problem.’”

Love said the shop was working on the waiver's requirements when personal issues took over. When they finally decided to begin working towards getting dogs back into the shop, Love said health department officials told him Coffee Labs could put the paperwork in, but the department would not move on it.

“Now they're telling us ‘no.’ They said we waited too long,” Love said, adding there had been no deadline.

Love and Kelligrew have begun rallying their customers on Facebook and Causes.com . In less than 24 hours, more than 250 people already joined the Causes and some have written supportive comments.

The shop garnered 3,000 petition signatures in 2010, and Love said he’s confident customers won't stop fighting for dogs.

“I'm not going to let that happen and neither are our customers,” Love said. “I'm still asked by people at Whole Foods or the mall 'When are you guys getting dogs back?' So people haven't forgotten about it.”

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