Montana authorities are recommending criminal charges be filed after allegations of animal cruelty surfaced at Kountz Arena in March. An emaciated stallion broken and missing part of his lower leg was discovered in a filthy pen. A calf was also found nearby barely alive and unable to move.
Gallatin County Undersheriff Dan Springer tells Rate My Horse PRO that his department submitted a request for prosecution on Thursday to the County Attorney’s office.The Undersheriff would not say who or how many people could face charges since the decision will be up to prosecutors.
The 1996 American Paint Horse Association stallion named Doc was found at the arena during a horse show. A group of competitors became outraged by the emaciated horse with “dead eyes” and a bloody stump instead of a leg. His hoof and part of his leg allegedly fell off after an accident. His front limbs were swollen and his feet overgrown. Authorities were contacted because the whistleblowers believed the animals were suffering needlessly.
Deputies and a local veterinarian responded to the location. Dr. Gary Cook, DVM says he recommended euthanasia for both animals. He was not the one that put the animals down.
Doc’s stump was wrapped as the concerned onlookers watched. The three legged horse was loaded onto a horse trailer and taken to an unknown location. He was euthanized later that day — reportedly by a bullet to the head.
Days later, authorities confirmed both Doc and the calf were both euthanized, per Dr. Cook’s instructions.
According to the APHA, Dayle Kountz owned Young Doc Bar since 1999. He is also the owner of Kountz Arena. His son, Cody Kountz, manages the facility that puts on horse shows, offers horse boarding, summer horse camps, and horse clinics.
“It got out of hand on Facebook,” Dayle Kountz recently told Rate My Horse PRO. “The horse had excellent care,” he continued. An ad on the arena website for the stallion’s stud services led some to
speculate the stallion was being kept alive for breeding purposes. Kountz denied the accusation, saying Doc was only used to cover their personal horses. “He hasn’t bred anything in two years.”
When asked about the advertisement Kountz said, “my son put up the ad, it didn’t mean anything.” The ad came down off the Kountz Arena website after news of Doc’s sad existence hit the horse community.
Undersheriff Springer says his department hasn’t been able to speak with Dayle Kountz or Cody Kountz during its investigation.
Stay with Rate My Horse PRO as we continue to follow this investigation.
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