Dunedin Man Accused of Elder Neglect, Animal Cruelty
He was the caretaker for a bedridden woman who was living in a home filled with trash, urine and feces. Pinellas deputies said the house was also home to 10 dogs and five large birds.
DUNEDIN – A Dunedin man was arrested after deputies discovered a bedridden woman, 10 dogs and five birds living in a home filled with trash and the stench of feces and urine, according to the PInellas County Sheriff’s Office.
Richard Lawrence Goodwin, 65, of Dunedin, was charged with one count of Abuse/Neglect of the Aged/Disabled and two counts of Cruelty to Animals. Deputies said Goodwin was arrested and charged May 6 with one count of Abuse/Neglect of the Aged/Disabled in connection with neglect of the same woman.
Deputies said they went to a Dunedin home at about 7:19 p.m. Wedmesday (April 24) for a follow-up welfare check on a 67-year-old bedridden woman.
When deputies arrived, they said they could smell the odor of rotting trash and animal feces as they walked up the driveway. Inside the residence, the odor of feces and urine was so overwhelming that deputies had to put on masks.
Because of large amounts of trash in the home, a path had to be cleared for deputies to reach the woman’s bedroom. None of the home’s toilets were working and all were found to be overflowing with feces. The only working sink was located on the opposite end of the house from the woman’s bedroom. Goodwin, who was the woman’s caretaker, lived in that end of the home.
No food or water could be found available for the woman or the animals inside the residence. Deputies said they also saw rats running around the home along with cockroaches, ants, spiders, flies, mosquitoes and the presence of black-colored mold.
The dogs were all found to be skinny with some being emaciated. Two puppies were living in a plastic bin that was nearly two inches deep with their own feces. Deputies said five large Macaw birds were found loose inside the home.
The woman was taken to a local hospital for non-life-threatening injuries. The Florida Elderly Abuse Hotline was notified of the conditions.
Pinellas County Animals Services took custody of all the animals and took them to shelters.
Pinellas Sheriff | Crime | Elder Neglect | Animal Cruelty | Tampabay News
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