Florida Mom Behind Bars After Boy, 11, Pulled From Feces-Filled Home, Excrement One-Inch Deep On Floor

Paula Gray, a 59-year-old mom in DeFuniak Springs, Florida, ended up behind bars last week after authorities found an 11-year-old boy in her care living in a home filled with animal feces — feces that investigators said carpeted the floor of the home up to one inch thick, according to a report by the Santa Rosa Press-Gazette newspaper.

The horrifying situation came to light after Florida’s Department of Children and Families began an investigation into Gray after receiving a complaint in March that she had her child living inside a home with “deplorable conditions,” WEAR-TV News reported.

“It turns my stomach that someone would force a child to live in this kind of filth,” Walton County Sheriff Michael Adkinson tole WEAR. “There is absolutely no excuse for it.”

The massive deposits of feces in the home stemmed from the fact that Gray, according to investigators, kept a large pack of dogs in her DeFuniak Springs residence.

Investigators removed a total of 30 dogs, including nine puppies and 21 full-grown dogs.

They were clued in when DCF officials visited the home and, despite refraining from actually entering the domicile, they noted the powerful odor of animal feces emanating from inside.

The investigators at that time also spotted several dogs peering out of the windows in the home. But at the time, they found that no child was present there.

When the investigators returned on June 7, however, the 11-year-old boy was present, and the investigators were able to photograph the inside of the home where Gray reportedly lived with the child.

The DCF investigators at that time reported that the home where the child resided was “smelling heavy of ammonia and covered in animal feces.”


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At some point, however, Gray apparently transported the pack of 30 dogs from her home to her mother’s residence. But the mother told the investigators that she was unable to take care of that many animals.

Police arrested Paula Gray at her mother’s home, and that’s where they actually found and removed the 30 dogs.

Gray was charged with child neglect without bodily harm and held on a $5,000 bond in Walton County Jail.

Sadly, the Paula Gray case appears to represent a phenomenon that is all too common, involving neglectful parents to allow their homes to become overrun with feces and other filth and refuse.

Also in Florida, less than one month before the arrest of Paula Gray, a couple in Winter Haven, Florida, Ashley and Richard Barnett, were taken into custody after police found a 2-year-old and a 4-year-old living in their home in what were described as “deplorable conditions.”

The following video news report contains details on that case, along with visual images of the interior of the horrific home.

According to a report by WFLA-TV, the Barnett home had no running water and smelled strongly of feces and rotting food. Despite the two children living in the home, the Barnett couple had a negligible amount if edible food on hand in their home.

What they did have, police allege, was drugs. When the couple was arrested and jailed in Polk County Jail, they were charged with negligent child abuse without bodily harm, possession of methamphetamine and possession of drug paraphernalia, stemming from the discovery if children in their feces-filled home.

[Featured Photo via Walton County Sheriff’s Office]