RADCLIFF, Ky. — A Hardin County woman is facing multiple charges of animal cruelty after dozens of dogs were found dead and abandoned inside her home.
Morgan Barrick, 26, has been charged with 35 counts of second degree animal cruelty.
Barrick is listed as the owner of Golden Grove Kennelsa dog breeding program that began in 2016. She has also served as a trainer and dog show manager.
According to the Radcliff Police Departmentofficers initially went to Barrick’s home due to a tip from a dog owner who was trying to contact Barrick but was unable to reach her.
WARNING: Some of the details about this case may be too disturbing for some readers. Discretion Advised.
When officers arrived, they found 21 dead dogs inside the Barrick home. Two of the dogs were already decomposing inside his vehicle, according to an arrest citation.
Authorities also found 14 other stray dogs, 12 of which were puppies, inside the home. Police said the dogs “appeared to be in physical danger.”
“The animals that were still alive were very thin to the point that bony structures such as the ribcages, elbows, and hips could be easily identified,” wrote a responding officer in the subpoena.
Police noted that there was very little food left for the dogs and no water bowls.
Some of the deceased dogs had even been partially eaten by other dogs.
The dogs found dead inside the breeder’s car had been wrapped in plastic bags “with some type of white substance on the carcasses” and were already in the process of decomposing, authorities said.
“It is very unsettling and very heartbreaking, especially for animal owners who may have entrusted him with the care and custody of their animals,” said Radcliff PD Capt. Willie Wells. “Animals are like family to all of us.”
Authorities said Hardin County Animal Control impounded the remaining dogs that were still alive and removed all dead dogs from the scene.
WHAS 11 spoke to the affected families, crying and asking for justice.
Cheyenne Collins’ dog, Cane, was found dead in the home.
“Animal control told me I couldn’t get his ashes, I can’t get a print, not even a bit of hair because they couldn’t even tell me what color it was. The only way they could identify my dog was to microchip him,” Collins said.
Collins, like many others, told WHAS11 that he trusted Barrick to care for his show dogs. In Cane’s case, they were actually co-owners.
“That was my best friend. I can’t even take him home in a box, and she (Barrick) has no remorse or explanation, nothing,” Collins said.
The problems extend beyond this case.
According to an autopsy report, breeder Deana Crutcher and Maryann Carter-Laventure co-owned Cyrus, a dog who died in Barrick’s care more than a year ago.
The report noted that Cyrus was extremely underweight and suffering from gastric dilatation (bloating), which can be fatal in dogs if not treated promptly. He also had pneumonia.
Crutcher said Barrick had excelled in the field for years, noting that he had even recommended the 26-year-old to other dog owners because of the great job she had done.
Crutcher said her daughter and Barrick had gone to school together and always had nice things to say. But in recent years, Crutcher said, calls to Barrick began to go unanswered.
“I never thought my dog was being starved and burned and burned,” Crutcher said.
Court records show Barrick was previously charged with animal cruelty in December 2021 and still has upcoming pretrial conferences scheduled for the case.
Every one of Barrick’s charges to this point, including the 2021 case, has been second-degree animal cruelty, which is a Class A misdemeanor in Kentucky, not a felony.
It has become a sticking point for many animal rights groups, and now for the families affected by this horrific act, who are calling for justice and changes to state statutes.
Captain Wells, weighing in: “I would like to see a greater sense of responsibility for someone who is accused of these types of crimes.”
Barrick was released from jail after posting $2,500 cash bail last week. She was processed Monday morning.
She also worked as the freshman girls’ basketball coach at John Hardin High School. According to the school district, Barrick was fired Monday morning.
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