🔴 New Jersey veteran went on TV to back up his claims that a freshman congressman kept money meant for his dying dog

🔴 U.S. Rep. George Santos called allegations 'shocking & insane'

🔴 After laying out the facts, the veteran said Santos could 'go to hell'

A freshman New York congressman who keeps making national headlines because of his history of concocting fables about himself is now denying that he kept $3,000 he raised on a GoFundMe page in 2016 to help the sick dog of a New Jersey veteran.

Richard Osthoff, who was homeless and living in a tent in Howell in 2016, told Patch that U.S. Rep. George Santos created a GoFundMe page to help his dog Sapphire who had developed a large tumor and needed life-saving surgery.

After the fund received $3,000 in donations, Santos, who then was going by the name Anthony Devolder, refused to turn over the money, according to Osthoff.

Santos, who since his election victory in November has been caught in one biographical lie after another, says that's not true.

“The reports that I would let a dog die is shocking & insane. My work in animal advocacy was the labor of love & hard work," Santos wrote on his campaign Twitter account. "Over the past 24hr I have received pictures of dogs I helped rescue throughout the years along with supportive messages."


The Republican from Long Island has been under fire for fabricating much of his resume during his campaign and has been under pressure to resign.

"I will NOT resign," Santos said in a tweet chiding local officials for refusing to help representatives from his offer assist constituents.

Santos says he has helped other pet owners in need

Santos during his campaign talked about an organization he created called Friends of Pets United that helped rescue 2,400 dogs and 280 cats. Osthoff said Santos told him that because Sapphire was not a candidate for surgery the money was moved to the next animal in need.

On Thursday, Osthoff brought Sapphire's ashes in a box with him onto CNN's This Morning and said a tech at the veterinarian that was caring for Sapphire gave Santos a glowing review. When the fund's goal was met Santos insisted on Osthoff using a different vet on Long Island.

Santos said he would reimburse Osthoff's travel expenses directly into his personal bank account.

"That never happened. That was the first sniff that I got," Osthoff told Don Lemon.

Things went south between Santos and Osthoff

Osthoff said was getting frustrated and told Santos that he didn't think he was legitimate and accused Santos of mining his friends and family for money. Santos said he was offended and called Osthoff a "scumbag," Osthoff said.

"That was his breaking point where I believe he created the breaking point.  He wanted me to get mad at him and storm off and give up on it. It just devolved from there," Osthoff said.

Santos stopped taking his calls and turned to Michael Boll, founder of New Jersey Veterans Network, for help. He tried to give Santos the benefit of the doubt.

"He was not going to help out at all," Boll said. "I told him you have two options. I think it would be a really good idea to give the money back to all the people who donated or give the money to a veterinarian in Rich's area who can use that for a fund to help future dogs."

Facebook/Rich Osthoff
Facebook/Rich Osthoff

'Go to hell'

Santos provided Lemon a statement saying that he would "go to hell and back for a dog and especially a veteran." He called Osthoff's claim a "pile-on effect" of the allegations being against him.

"Well, then go to hell," Osthoff said.

Osthoff said he doesn't believe Santos has saved any animals.

Dan Alexander is a reporter for New Jersey 101.5. You can reach him at dan.alexander@townsquaremedia.com

Click here to contact an editor about feedback or a correction for this story.

Big companies that survived, and thrived, after bankruptcy

There have been some big name brands that declared bankruptcy and built back, stronger — some with New Jersey ties.

From an automaker to theme park company and mall food court staple, here’s at least six successful restructuring stories.

Don't say it: 6 words & phrases that should be banned in NJ

Some very Jersey things that shouldn't be.

LOOK: See how much gasoline cost the year you started driving

To find out more about how has the price of gas changed throughout the years, Stacker ran the numbers on the cost of a gallon of gasoline for each of the last 84 years. Using data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (released in April 2020), we analyzed the average price for a gallon of unleaded regular gasoline from 1976 to 2020 along with the Consumer Price Index (CPI) for unleaded regular gasoline from 1937 to 1976, including the absolute and inflation-adjusted prices for each year.

Read on to explore the cost of gas over time and rediscover just how much a gallon was when you first started driving.

More From New Jersey 101.5 FM