Probation not enough for animal abuse

Wednesday , June 27, 2018 - 12:00 AM4 comments

I was beyond appalled to read the story entitled “Ex-LDS bishop gets probation for shooting out neighboring dog’s eye with BB gun.” I was outraged as I read that Kim Errol Tibbitts of Ogden repeatedly shot his neighbor’s dog with a BB gun over 9-months, but the dog’s owners weren’t aware of the repeated abuse until their dog’s eye was so damaged that it needed to be removed.

It was reported that Tibbitts addressed the court by saying that he was “sorry” for what he had done, if he could take it back he would, and he never intended to hurt the dog. If you didn’t intend to hurt the dog, why did you repeatedly shoot it for 9-months?

These are the words of a serial abuser. He is someone who needs to have power and control over those who are powerless and cannot defend themselves. The fact that he was an LDS Bishop while he was perpetrating these heinous acts should scare everyone who knows him and is a part of his ward! It should also encourage church leadership to do a better job of vetting people they put into positions of power.

Tibbitts is not sorry he hurt Neiko the dog, he is sorry he was caught! Judge Noel Hyde said that Tibbitts is a “low-risk offender” and assigning a jail sentence to him would do more harm than good. I disagree! ... In fact, I would be willing to bet that this is not the first time he has acted in an abusive manner toward an animal or other defenseless creature.

Tibbitts reportedly offered to pay for all of Neiko the dog’s medical bills. Throwing money at the consequences of your violence doesn’t take the violent act away, nor does it take away your violent tendencies!

While Tibbitts is on probation for two years and is required to perform 80 hours of community service, this punishment is not harsh enough. People who abuse animals often move on to abusing people. It is time that animal abusers receive harsher penalties along with mandatory mental health treatment in order stop the cycle of abuse from progressing.

My heart goes out to Tanya and Parris Scott, whose beloved Neiko is in constant pain because of the abuse he endured at the hands of Tibbitts. I hope Tanya and Parris know that there are many people who support them and who share their sense of injustice. As a society, we need to be better at caring for those who cannot care for themselves!

Heather Ambrose


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