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Montana’s Highest Court Denies Kountz Petition

Petition denied

The Montana Supreme Court has denied a horse breeder’s petition allowing his animal cruelty case to proceed toward trial. Dayle Kountz is accused of torturing his stallion by not providing the animal veterinary care after part of the horse’s leg fell off.

Montana’s highest court responded to Kountz’s petition finding it should be denied because the case is not extraordinary. “The district court made a routine pretrial ruling denying Kountz’s motion to dismiss, and that ruling can be challenged on appeal.”

The court also states Kountz’s claim is premature and depends on facts that have not been developed. The court does not grant a petition for writ of supervisory control unless the case involves purely legal issues.

Attorneys met with Gallatin County District Judge Mike Salvagni Wednesday for a status hearing in the case. Kountz is accused of allowing his horse and a calf to suffer needlessly.

Kountz is charged with felony aggravated animal cruelty and cruelty to animals, a second offense. He is also charged with an alternative count to aggravated animal cruelty. Kountz can only be convicted of two charges.

Judge Salvagni was ready to schedule an October trial date, but the defense asked for more time. Kountz defense attorney Al Avignone cited the case’s publicity and the need for a change of venue.

The defense has until the end of September to file any motions.

A trial date is not scheduled.

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