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Samantha MacBeth, 2L, Fights for Animalty Cruelty Laws

April 27, 2015

  • Image from the Standard Examiner Article

JD student Samantha MacBeth is motivated to help our feline and canine friends by fighting to update the current laws animal cruelty law in Utah.  Here is an excerpt of her story from the Standard Examiner.

“When she was a small child, Samantha MacBeth’s parents instilled in her a love for animals and compassion toward all living creatures.

Those lessons continue to have an impact on her today, so much so that she is dedicating her career to helping pass laws that will protect animals from cruelty, abuse and neglect and prevent their abusers from future animal ownership.

“My mom is a huge animal lover, and growing up we rescued two cats and a dog. It was amazing to me how much they became a part of our family,” she said. “I decided to focus on Ogden’s animal ordinances because of my strong connection to the city. I am really proud of where I come from and I am dedicated to giving back to my local community.”

MacBeth, 26, graduated from Ogden High School. Her debate class at the high school is what initially stirred her interest in law. After graduating from the University of Utah, she was accepted into Lewis & Clark Law School, where she is finishing up her second year.

“I decided to move to Portland in order to attend Lewis & Clark for its nationally renowned animal law program. Few law schools currently offer programs in animal law, although that is changing, and Lewis & Clark was the first one to offer courses in animal law,” she said. “Animal law encompasses everything from property law to criminal law, contracts to environmental law, and it’s a rapidly growing field. More than 150 law schools throughout the U.S. and abroad now teach animal law. Unfortunately, neither of Utah’s law schools offers any animal law courses yet.”

As part of her coursework for a legislative clinic in animal law, MacBeth has drafted proposals for the Ogden City Council that seek to address substandard breeding practices that are causing birth defects in local dogs, provide more legal tools for enforcement and restrict people who have committed acts of animal cruelty in their ability to acquire more animals.”

Read the whole article in the Standard Examiner.


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