As Congress liar George Santos left a federal court house in Long Island today to deal with his fraud and money laundering charges, a group of protestors could be heard chanting, "Resign! Resign! Resign!" But one voice heard above all the others got a bit more personal: "You killed Sapphire, George! You killed my dog!" (See video below, posted by The Recount.)
Perhaps the accusation came from Rich Osthoff, a Navy veteran from New Jersey who has accused Santos (or Anthony Devolder, as Osthoff knew him as) of killing his pup in 2016 by allegedly stealing thousands of crowdfunding dollars that was meant to pay for his beloved service dog's life-saving surgery.
According to an NPR article in January, Osthoff went through a so-called nonprofit pet charity called Friends of Pets United to get help for his dog. That's when he met "Anthony Devolder," who set up a GoFundMe page to help Osthoff come up with $3,000 — the amount he needed for his pit bull Sapphire, who Osthoff said, "saved me from killing myself" twice.
"But then that's when everything went wrong," Osthoff said.
Santos closed the GoFundMe account and refused to transfer the money to Osthoff "and I really couldn't understand why," he said.
Santos was initially responsive, although he insisted that he needed to remain in control of the money. He also insisted that Osthoff take Sapphire to a veterinarian in Queens, N.Y., explaining that the charity organization, Friends of Pets United, often worked with the clinic and had some sort of "credit" there. Osthoff said it remains unclear to him why Santos couldn't pay a veterinarian with the thousands of dollars raised from the GoFundMe fundraiser. …
Then, in a message dated Nov. 13, 2016, Osthoff wrote, "My dog is going to die because of god knows what. … I'm sick of being jerked around. I'll take her to another vet, but that cash was raised on her behalf."…
Sapphire died on Jan. 15, 2017.
"I just keep thinking, 'How is he a member of Congress? How does somebody that low rise so high?'" Osthoff said.
Front page thumbnail image: lev radin / shutterstock.com