The city of Dallas is taking steps forward in preventing animal cruelty. As of February 1, dog owners are no longer allowed to leave their pets tied up and unattended.This ordinance comes after a long debate about how to handle loose dogs and animal cruelty problems in the area.

According to KDFW, pets are only allowed to be tethered up when the owner is present and the tether can't be held around the dogs neck. Owners must use a properly fitted collar and harness as well.

Gabi Vannini of Dallas Animal Services spoke to CBS Dallas about the change - stating that owners must now accompany animals at all times and provide adequate water and shelter.

“It’s really not a great stimulating life for a dog to be on a chain. They don’t have a lot of room to move and they don’t get a lot of interaction. We really encourage dogs to be living inside,” she said.

Dog owners will be ticketed if they are found in violation of this new ordinance. A bill went to Texas lawmakers last year regarding this, but it hasn't become a state wide law just yet. Here's hoping that Dallas is the first of many cities to act on this.

San Antonio has been debating the issue for years now as well.