WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL)— Animal rights activists say dogs in Texas will be safer in the new year, when Senate Bill 5, otherwise known as the Safe Outdoor Dog’s Act, goes into effect.

Imagine living your entire life at the end of a chain often with no food or water in reach, and no shelter, that’s a lifestyle Wichita Falls Chapter President of the Texas Humane Legislation Network, Jan Herzog, and her team wanted to come to an end for dogs in Wichita Falls.

In 2013, Herzog played a key role in getting a new chain-off ordinance passed for the city of Wichita Falls.

Fast forward to 2022 and it’s about to become state law.

“You cant leave a tethered or chained dog unattended at all, not even, you can’t tie your dog outside while you’re doing yard work then go in the house and get a drink of water,” Herzog said.

That’s law in Wichita Falls, but what about across the state?

Starting on January 18th of 2022, Senate Bill 5 will ban the use of chains on dogs for cities that don’t have their own chain ordinance.

“This will help because the dogs will be more comfortable, they’ll be less likely to be aggressive because they’ll have more of their needs met,” Herzog said.

Needs like an adequate shelter with enough room to turn around and lie down fully, clean water to drink, shade, and the ability to avoid standing water and their waste.

“Well they can freeze to death, they can die from lack of water, food, and they can get so hot in the summertime that they can die,” Herzog said.

Although this won’t affect Wichita Falls too much, it will have one big impact on law enforcement or animal control officers who previously had to wait for 24-hours after seeing an animal in distress before taking action.

“If they see a dog that’s in distress, in imminent distress, they can go ahead and take action,” Herzog said.

Action that could result in a Class B or C misdemeanor that comes with a hefty fine of up to 500-dollars.

Now there are a few exceptions in the Safe Outdoor Dogs Act, which includes camping, herding livestock, or tying up your dog while doing a temporary task.