Home / General / George Santos stole $3,000 donated for surgery for a disabled veteran’s dog’s cancer surgery

George Santos stole $3,000 donated for surgery for a disabled veteran’s dog’s cancer surgery

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This is basically the worst country & western song of all time:

 In May 2016, Richard Osthoff was living in a tent in an abandoned chicken coop on the side of Route 9 in Howell, New Jersey, with his beloved service dog Sapphire. A veteran’s charity gave the pit mix to Osthoff, a disabled veteran who was honorably discharged from the U.S. Navy in 2002, he told Patch.

When Sapphire developed a life-threatening stomach tumor, Osthoff, now 47, learned the surgery would cost $3,000. A veterinary technician took Osthoff aside and told him, “‘I know a guy who runs a pet charity who can help you,'” Osthoff recounted.

His name was Anthony Devolder, and his pet charity was called Friends of Pets United, the vet tech told him.

Anthony Devolder is one of the names that Long Island Rep. George Santos used for years before entering politics in 2020. Santos faces multiple criminal investigations after reports surfaced that he fabricated much of his resume during his congressional campaign. Many Democratic and Republican lawmakers on Long Island are calling for him to resign.

Osthoff and another New Jersey veteran, retired police Sgt. Michael Boll, who tried to intervene to help Osthoff in 2016, told Patch that Santos closed the GoFundMe he set up for Sapphire after it raised $3,000 on social media and disappeared.

Sapphire died Jan. 15, 2017. After being out of work with a broken leg for over a year, Osthoff couldn’t afford the dog’s euthanasia and cremation, he said.

“I had to panhandle. It was one of the most degrading things I ever had to do,” he remembered.

Boll is a retired Marine Corps veteran and Union Township police sergeant involved in veteran outreach. In 2017, he founded the nonprofit NJ Veterans Network. He was an acquaintance of the vet tech, and knew Osthoff through his outreach work — he also shared Sapphire’s GoFundMe page — so when he heard what happened, he tried to mediate, he told Patch.

“I contacted [Santos] and told him ‘You’re messing with a veteran,’ and that he needed to give back the money or use it to get Osthoff another dog,” he said.

“He was totally uncooperative on the phone.”

Santos told Osthoff and Boll that he planned to use the money to help other animals, Osthoff said. Boll told him that he couldn’t do that because the money was raised specifically for Osthoff, and his service dog.

On the GoFundMe page Santos set up for Osthoff, he wrote “Dear all, When a veteran reaches out to ask for help, how can you say no […].” The GoFundMe was later deleted, and an Internet archive website doesn’t have a record of it.

One of the odd things about American politics is that this is exactly the kind of thing that, because of some mysterious alchemy of public sentiment, even Republicans may not be able to tolerate.

It reminds me of when I saw The Missouri Breaks in a theater way back in the day. The audience was totally indifferent to the slaughter of various human beings, but when a rabbit appeared to be killed everyone went ooooh!

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