Stacey Barricks’s 26 cats were seized from her Northland, Montana home

By Maria Yagoda
Updated March 01, 2016 09:04 PM

Stacey Barricks may have had 26 cats, but that does not make her a crazy cat lady, she insists.

“I don’t dump animals,” she told Fox 4 News. “So I kept them. Then I had litters before I could get the males fixed. I got the first three males fixed, but then I had other males, it just kind of escalated a little bit. But I got it under control, all the males are fixed now. I realize it’s a lot but when you take care of something for five years, you love it. You love it.”

Animal control officers seized all of them on Saturday when they raided a home they thought was abandoned but was actually hers.

“All the cats were gone, and my stuff is just destroyed,” Barricks said. “There’s knick knacks broken, the curtains were ripped down off the windows, all my clothes were pulled out of the closet. I’m quite sure it was because they were trying to catch them, but still.”

Barricks, who lives with her fiancé, thought she had been in the clear because she lived outside city limits. (City ordinance allows only four animals per household, so about 1/7th of her crew.)

KC Pet Project says that the cats, which all seem to be in good health, will be up for adoption by the end of the week, and Barricks hopes to take four of them.