More details on Kountz Arena animal cruelty investigation in Bozeman

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 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.”

20 comments on “More details on Kountz Arena animal cruelty investigation in Bozeman

  1. The idea that this poor animal laid there for an extended period of time – in his own piss and in misery – I hope it never stops being an issue for these people. And that poor calf…what kind of people allow this?


  2. I’m just sitting here shaking my head. This is unbelievable, unacceptable. I wonder how many relatives they have on the horse or in office.
    it’s just ridiculous.


  3. To admit the blatant cruelty and the amount of time that horse suffered. Just another day at the office I guess. Hope they go bankrupt and get jail time.


  4. I hope all the sponsors pull their sponsorships. As a past hooves investigator, I would not have left the scene until something was done for the animals. Humane investigators serve a very vital role. Its hard for law enforcement to handle all types of calls including animal abuse. Someone saw what happened to these poor animals. Its disgusting no one else took the time to get involved. Many state laws are very weak and provide for minimum care. I want to thank that person for stepping forward. No animals deserve to suffer that way.


    • Gail, from my understanding of this, know one saw who did not have part ownership in this area, when a indepentant contractor came in with a show that is when all this was discovered. and that is when everyone was made aware! as it should be! I am just thankful that the show was there and all of them stood firm and made things happen!


  5. “Jumping to conclusions?”…”We will go the facts’?..
    Facts seem pretty clear to anyone with a brain. The biggest concern here…stop bothering them. This holier than thou attitude when they are challenged with inflicting misery on two animals is infuriating. They owned the horse 20 years – normally this would indicate some affection but for this poor fella – 20 years of hell.
    The wagons are circling – close them down and move on.


  6. Unbelievable that this kind of thing still goes on in the 21st century. Treating living things like shit. I hope they are prosecuted to the full extent of the law. Sometimes I just thank God for social media – maybe they’ll only get a slap on the wrist by law enforcement, but they’ll always get a good lashing on Facebook. 🙂


  7. Aren’t these places subject to any kind of inspection? Thank goodness for our ‘unofficial’ inspectors. It’s very hard to accept the depths to which some humans can sink.


    • idalupine, no they are not. they are priviately owned. contract out for shows and stuff. by different individuals. most of them have pulled out and shows and events are being cancelled right and left and sponsers are also pulling their money out!! that is all good! for now the blessing in this is that individuals stood up and were heard!


  8. Back story? She Actually says Back story? Does she Not know thats a point of reference for the living recovering animals not a back story to abuse? How can you back story abuse to save face? Its still abuse. I wish they would say where it was loaded up and trailered to Exactly. Where was it shot in the head? At home or at a Slaughter plant? Just inquiring. In Illinois this happened to a horse trailered to slaughter at Dekalb and a bloody stump fell off the trailer and hit a car. Seriously.


  9. An Arena doing horse shows. LET ME GIVE A LIST: 1. THEY COULDNT AFFORD TO PUT IT DOWN OR BOARD WITH VETERINARIAN? 2. THE FIRST VETERINARIAN DIDNT PUT IT DOWN? 3. THE SECOND VETERINARIAN DIDNT EUTHANIZE ON THE SPOT? 4. IT LAID IN EXCREMENT WITH A HOOF MISSING FOR AN ENTIRE MONTH? 5. They couldnt Afford to clean Three times daily? They couldnt place fresh bedding each day?? 6. Why wasnt a decision made before the public arrived? 7. Why does anyone ship a calf with a broken neck anywhere? 8. Why did a show take place in this setting? 9. Why are they trying to explain this? 10. Where in any part of the horse industry do horses suffer like this? Slaughter….eliminate slaughter and we eliminate the get by with it attitude. Thats just the facts.


    • These folks were being charged in May with Felonies. They were previously convicted of animal abuse. Trying t get that backstory. Hope the charges stick.


  10. I would like a follow up. I heard the County Attorney was not doing anything, although law enforcement suggested charges be filed. Now it’s been passed off elsewhere? This family has been in this small town community for decades. They are well connected, and I’m sure they would like this to just “go away”. We can’t let it. Keep the pressure on until this place is run out of business and this family is prohibited from ever owning animals again. Thank God for social media or this might just as well have been one more case no one ever heard about and nothing was ever done.


    • These folks were being charged in May with Felonies. They were previously convicted of animal abuse. Trying t get that backstory. Hope the charges stick.


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