Gay Republican George Santos denies stealing money from a dying dog

Newly elected Republican Representative from New York, George Santos wearing a blue suit looks on as the US House of Representatives convenes for the 118th Congress at the US Capitol in Washington, DC, January 3, 2023.

A Navy veteran has accused gay Republican congressman George Santos of pocketing thousands of dollars raised in a GoFundMe for his dying dog. 

Santos has denied the allegations.

Osthoff said he got Sapphire in 2005 to help cope with bipolar disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder, following departing the Navy. 

It follows a charity group, linked to Santos, creating a GoFundMe page to raise money to save Osthoff’s dog’s life. 

But Osthoff said access to the $3,000 donation pot was withheld from him by Santos and he ended up having to “panhandle” to pay for Sapphire to be euthanised and cremated. 

When asked by Santos if he wanted the money he said: “The money doesn’t mean anything.

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“That dog was the thing that kept me alive.”

Santos denied the allegations to Semafor and told the news outlet the claims were “fake”, and added he had “no clue who this is”.

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“I was so livid that I realised that this guy is now a serving congressman. He doesn’t deserve that job. It’s horrendous that he could lie and steal and cheat his way through life,” Osthoff said.

“And now he’s somebody that we’re supposed to trust. It’s disgusting. It’s horrible. [He] should be ashamed of himself, but he doesn’t. … He’s a psychopath.”

‘I knew it was fishy’

In 2016, around 11 years after getting Sapphire, she had began suffering from health problems and needed surgery.

According to Osthoff, a veterinary estimated her surgery would cost $3,000, money which he didn’t have due to being homeless and living in a tent at that time. 

He then learned of Santos’ charity – Friends of Pets United – which a vet technician told him “raises a lot of money for animals in need”.

In a bid to help Sapphire, the charity created a GoFundMe in aid of her, helping him reach the total goal. 

A veterinarian treating Sapphire suggested she would need a different surgeon and Santos suggested using his vet, instead, Osthoff said. 

“I knew there was something up. I knew it was fishy. And he started telling me that if the dog wasn’t able to be worked on, the funds weren’t going to go to me anyway. They were going to go to another animal that needed it,” Osthoff said.

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George Santos says he won’t resign as a House representative because he was elected to represent his voters, not the Republican Party.
Santos says he won’t resign because he was elected to represent his voters, not the Republican Party. (Getty Images/Drew Angerer)

“I told him, I was like: ‘Look, I know what’s going on here. You’re mining my dog and my friends and my family for funds, and you’re putting them in your own pocket.’”

“It’s [Santos’] fault that she passed as early as she did. I do think that she could have been taken care of. There could have been more veterinary care, something to prolong her life, even if they couldn’t remove that thing. She could have been more comfortable,” he said.

The openly gay politician – who was sworn into the House of Representatives for New York on 7 January – has previously been forced to admit he “embellished” his education and employment history on his resume. 

Following media investigations raising questions about a number of claims he made, New York prosecutors are investigating Santos and he has since faced multiple calls to resign. 

So far he has ignored calls to quit, but slipped up and indicated that he would resign if 142,000 people asked him to. 

Most recently, images have emerged that allegedly show Santos as a drag queen named ‘Kitara’ in Brazil, back in 2008.

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