Ogden woman studying animal law hopes to present ordinances that protect pets

Posted at 10:19 PM, May 18, 2015
and last updated 2015-05-19 00:22:38-04

OGDEN, Utah -- A woman from Ogden, who left the state to pursue her dream of studying Animal Law, is now returning home to save animals in the community where she grew up.

Samantha Macbeth is in the process of writing and introducing new ordinances to the city that would protect animals from cruelty, abuse and neglect.

"It just meant a lot to me to be able to focus on my hometown and to help see what I can do with the skills that I'm now learning," MacBeth said.

MacBeth just wrapped up her second year studying Animal Law at Lewis and Clark Law School in Oregon.

"It's still kind of not a field that many people really know about or really think to pursue a job in," MacBeth said. "I mean they can't advocate for themselves so they have to have someone do that for them."

Ogden Animal Services said when Macbeth reached out to them, asking to voluntarily help, they were eager to accept her offer.

"I mean I wouldn't be able to touch these ordinances at least for another six months to even start with the verbiage and then I have to go back and forth with lawyers and different people, and she is wording them exactly how they need to be," said Stephanie Butte, Animal Services Supervisor.

The laws MacBeth has been writing strictly focus on domestic pets. Two of those proposals include cracking down on inhumane breeding and repeat animal abusers.

"There was a case I did where a man kicked his six-month-old Pit Bull so hard that it flew off the porch and broke it's shoulder and dislocated it," Butte said. "The dog went to the shelter and got adopted by somebody else but it took nine months to a year and now the guy has four dogs at his residence so even though the courts saved one dog he just went out and got four more dogs."

Ogden Animal Services says these laws could be the stepping stone to a major animal rights movement.

"Once I get things passed through Ogden City I can get contact with people who help to get it passed through the state as well," Butte said.

Butte said the best way to stop abuse is for people to report it when they see it.

For a complete list of the new ordinances being proposed and what they aim to do, go to

MacBeth said she is looking forward to a lasting relationship with Ogden Animal Services, and hopes it's the first of many cities where she can make a difference in the lives of these defenseless creatures.

"They are not just property but more so they are part of our families and they need to be treated with that kind of respect and compassion and the law comes in a really good way to shape how that happens," MacBeth said.

These new ordinances that have been written by MacBeth are expected to go before Ogden City Council for a vote at some point later this summer.