Readers have had questions about the investigation of Kountz Arena, and this article seems to contain more specific details that may answer everyone’s questions. Kaylee Kountz’s explanation of why two animals were in such a horrid condition didn’t make any sense. Supposedly, the horse’s hoof fell off a month prior to being seen and photographed by Kristie Townsend. The horse was, by Kristie’s account, suffering, laying in excrement and covered in sores. Kountz said the calf was brought to the arena because it was in “poor health.” When was the calf’s neck broken, and how? There are no excuses.
SOURCE: Belgrade News
Bozeman horse arena under investigation for animal cruelty
by Hannah Stiff
A social media storm is brewing over alleged animal abuse at Kountz Arena in Bozeman. Photos of a horse with a missing hoof and a calf with a broken neck have been circulating Facebook in an effort to garner public support for the mistreated animals and criminal prosecution against the Kountz family.
On Saturday, March 28, Kristie Townsend was attending a horse show at the arena when she found Young Doc Bar, a stud horse, suffering in a barn. Townsend said she found Young Doc Bar lying on his side in his own excrement. She learned that the horse was injured in December.
“This was the most horrific thing I have ever witnessed,” Townsend said on her Facebook page. “A call to the sheriff was made. The sheriff called in a vet. The vet said the horse and calf need to be put down.”
Townsend said it was cruel to keep the suffering animals alive.
“When he got up, he was covered in bloody oozing bed sores, laying in his own waste,” Townsend said. “No bedding absorbed the pee. His other feet were so overgrown it was just sick. It is clear to me that he was suffering in a way no animal should! He has wasted away to nothing.”
The calf Townsend witnessed was lying in another pen with what she says was a broken neck. Townsend snapped photos of the injured animals and put them on the Internet in the hopes that the animals would be quickly put out of their misery. She’s now waiting for proof that both animals were put down.
A man who answered the Kountz Arena phone Monday morning said he had “nothing to say” about the recent allegations and hung up the phone.
Kaylee Kountz reached out to Townsend on Facebook. Kountz said Townsend was jumping to conclusions before knowing the backstory. Kountz went on to explain that Young Doc Bar had been in her family for 20 years before he got injured in December. She said the horse was taken to the vet but his foot fell off a month ago.
The calf, Kountz said, was recently brought to the arena because it was in poor health. Kountz agreed that both animals needed to be put down and told Townsend that the horse is “laying with a bullet in his head.” She said the calf was also put down. She ended her message saying, “Can this please stop.”
But Townsend and her friends say they want to assure the abuse never happens again. Megan Schilling frequently attends horse shows at the Kountz Arena. She said she was appalled at the conditions the injured animals were living in.
“I just hope someone is held accountable,” Schilling said. “It’s unacceptable.”
Schilling and Townsend have both signed their names to a petition that asks Gallatin County Attorney Marty Lambert to pursue criminal charges against the Kountz Arena owners. The petition is online at change.org. So far more than 1,400 people have signed the petition.
Photos that Townsend took Saturday have been shared more than 175 times on Facebook.
Schilling is working to coordinate a public meeting this week. She wants to inform the community about what happened Saturday and sort out any misinformation. The ultimate goal is making sure no animals are harmed at the Kountz Arena in the future, Schilling said.
Some Kountz Arena sponsors have already pulled their sponsorship in the wake of recent events, Schilling said. She hopes more will follow suit.
According to Gallatin County Undersheriff Dan Springer, his office is investigating the matter. No charges have been filed yet, but he said the Sheriff’s Office is working to gather evidence.
“We currently have the incident under investigation at this time,” Springer said. “We will go on the facts.”