Florida Keys

He's in trouble for cocaine and a gun. Now, he's accused of neglecting his dog.


A Stock Island man already jailed on charges of cocaine trafficking and weapons possession was arrested Tuesday in a misdemeanor animal cruelty case.

Jamie Barber, 30, a convicted felon, was caught in May with 33 grams of cocaine and a .22 caliber handgun with 50 rounds of ammunition, police say. Felons cannot possess weapons.

Barber was on probation for a previous drug conviction and he was jailed.

Barber said he picked up the cocaine from the street so that neighborhood kids wouldn’t find it and he said he was holding the gun for a friend.

But it was difficult for him to explain the condition of his dog, Carmela.

Deputies arrived at his home at 46 Ninth Ave. on Stock Island at about 3 p.m. May 18 for a landlord-tenant dispute.

They found Barber being evicted from two rooms with a dog that was missing fur, had long nails and was in a room filled with her own feces, police said.

Deputies called the Florida Keys SPCA, which already knew about Carmela. Animal control had removed the dog from Barber in 2015 for failing to provide proper medical care.

At the time, Barber signed an order with the SPCA promising he would take care of the dog. Barber eventually got the dog back, with animal control making welfare checks on the dog.

The SPCA said Barber must have broken his promise. They said Carmela looked the same as she had in 2015 — underweight and smelling of infection.

A veterinarian examined the dog, said Adam Linhardt, the Monroe Sheriff’s Office spokesman.

“The veterinarian stated the dog’s skin showed, ‘evidence of chronic inflammation and hair loss,’ ” Linhardt said. “The condition is most likely due to the dog’s environment and its lack of cleanliness.”

The dog is being treated with medicated shampoos, antibiotics and steroids. The vet said the dog’s skin should heal and her coat will grow back over time.

Barber remains in jail with no bail.