MIDLAND, Texas — Tomorrow, January 18th, will mark a day of change for dog owners and their beloved pets. Some a part of the Midland Humane Coalition, say it has been a long time coming.

It’s called the Safe Outdoor Dogs Act and it is set to go into effect tomorrow. Texas cities like San Antonio already had a city-wide law like this but now it will be state-wide to try and make Texas a much safer place for man’s best friend.

Terra Acox with the Midland Humane Coalition says, “A lot of times people who don’t have an adequate fence, or they have a little escape artist dog, they’ll chain up their dog or tie up their dog to prevent them from escaping.”

The new act will ban the use of heavy chains for tethering dogs outside, as well as mandate shelter, shade, water and other important necessities.

“No one would want to live in those conditions without food or water, or a warm place to sleep in the winter, or cool shade in the summer, so this will just increase their quality of life dramatically,” adds Acox.

Acox says the act will ensure pet safety throughout the state of Texas. While the law will ban certain tethering, owners will be able to use humane tethering such as trolley systems, with proper fitting collars or harnesses.

Acox says it’s about time a law like this went into effect.

“We’re really happy with that law passing. We’re just thrilled and excited to see some consequences and maybe a step up in Texas animal rights,” says Acox.

She says their were already several laws in place to protect these animals, but they haven’t done enough and a bigger change was necessary.

Acox adds, “We already had animal cruelty laws in place, but even law enforcement said that it wasn’t adequate.”

The new law will also begin to help combat the animal abuse and mistreatment in Texas.

“I do see that it’s worse here than in other places and we’re just really happy and thrilled that Texas is stepping up and they’re taking that additional step to make sure that animals are also living and getting their freedom, you know, and having a good quality of life,” says Acox.

An offense under this act will be considered a class c misdemeanor and you could get a fine of up to 500 dollars.