A bedridden 67-year-old woman and more than a dozen animals were rescued Thursday after a welfare check found that they were living in a home filled with trash, urine, and feces, Florida police said.
Pinellas County sheriff’s deputies said when they arrived at the home in Dunedin around 7:20 p.m. Thursday, they could smell the odor of rotting trash and animal feces as they walked up to the driveway.
“Inside the residence, the odor of feces and urine was so overwhelming that deputies had to don masks,” the sheriff’s department said in a statement.
Walking throughout the residence, the deputies found 10 emaciated dogs and puppies living in bins filled with their own feces, five large Macaw birds flying freely, rats, bugs and overall squalor.
Deputies said due to the large amounts of trash in the home, they had to clear a path to reach the victim’s bedroom.
“None of the home’s toilets were working and all were found to be overflowing with feces,” deputies said. “The only working sink was located on the opposite end of the house from the victim’s bedroom.”
They said there was no food or water for the victim or the animals.
The victim was transported to a local hospital for injuries that were non-life threatening, while the animals were transported to shelters.
The woman’s caretaker, Richard Lawrence Goodwin, 65, was arrested and charged with abuse and neglect of an elderly person, disabled person, and cruelty to animals.
The sheriff’s department said this was Goodwin’s second arrest for abuse and neglect of the same victim. He was previously arrested in May 2018.
Neighbor Victoria Muenzerbeer told FOX 13 that Goodwin and the victim were hoarders and the conditions inside the home were horrible years ago when she visited once.
“I went in and it was absolutely, a human being couldn’t live there,” she said. “The kitchen wasn’t usable and part of the wall was falling in.”