DUNEDIN — Pinellas deputies arrested the caretaker for a 67-year-old bedridden woman who was found living in a home filled with feces, trash and animals.
Richard Lawrence Goodwin, 65, faces an elder abuse charge and two animal abuse charges, according to the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office. Goodwin and the woman, Barbara Schneider, were living in squalor with 10 dogs and five macaws.
About 7:20 p.m. Wednesday, deputies went to the home at 2050 Pinehurst Road in Dunedin for a welfare check on Schneider and could immediately smell rotting trash and animal feces as they walked up the driveway, the Sheriff's Office said. Inside, the smell was so strong they had to put on masks.
Deputies had to clear a path through trash piles to get through the house. The toilets were clogged and overflowing, and the only working sink was located near Goodwin's room, across the house from Schneider, deputies said.
There was no food for Schneider or the animals. Some of the dogs appeared starved, and two puppies were living in a bin filled with their own feces, according to the Sheriff's Office. The macaws were loose inside the house.
Schneider was taken to a local hospital with non-life threatening injuries. Deputies reported the incident to Florida's elder abuse hotline. Pinellas County Animal Services took in the animals.
This marked Goodwin's second elder abuse accusation involving Schneider in less than a year. In May, deputies arrested Goodwin at the same home in the same conditions. Goodwin pleaded not guilty in that case, which is ongoing.
Deputies booked Goodwin into the Pinellas County jail about 10 p.m. Wednesday. He was released just after 5 a.m. Thursday after meeting $20,000 bail.
Contact Kathryn Varn at firstname.lastname@example.org or (727) 893-8913. Follow @kathrynvarn.