Bozeman man pleads no contest to felony animal cruelty charge
Dayle Kountz appears in Gallatin Co. District Court on June 15, 2015
BOZEMAN - A Bozeman man facing three felony animal cruelty charges is pleading no contest to one of the charges.
In 2015, an investigation began looking into the owner of Bozeman's Kountz Arena, Dayle Kountz, after photos of his horse missing a hoof appeared online.
Kountz allegedly told law enforcement that the foot had fallen off a few months earlier and he was keeping the horse alive to get semen for breeding.
Kountz is scheduled to be sentenced on September 14th, and the other two charges will be addressed at that time.
Prior to Wednesday’s hearing, Kountz had a trial scheduled to begin next month. The no contest plea is not admitting guilt, but rather explaining that there is reason to believe a jury would likely find him guilty.
He previously had a petition to move the trial to Butte denied. He argued that the local jury pool could be tainted.