NY Times Takes Deeper Dive Into George Santos’ Animal Rescue

The New York Times takes a deeper dive into Rep. George Santos (R-NY) and his alleged animal charity group.
Rep. George Santos (screen capture)

A few weeks ago, I shared the story of a disabled veteran and his beloved dog Sapphire. who turned to truth-challenged Rep. George Santos (R-NY) and his animal rescue group in 2016 when Richard Osthoff’s dog needed medical treatment.

Santos set up a GoFundMe campaign, which was a success, but Santos never gave the donated funds to Osthoff. Sapphire never received the treatment she needed, and sadly, passed away a few months later.

The New York Times has now taken a deeper dive into Santos’ so-called animal rescue group, Friends of Pets United, and found other folks who say they were also deceived by Santos.

Among their stories:

• A pet adoption charity event (including raffles and sales of gift baskets) was held at a Pet Oasis store on Staten Island. But at the end of the event, the store owner was asked to make out a check for the proceeds to “Anthony Devolder” (a name Santos is known to have used in the past) instead of to Santos’ “charity,” Friends of Pets United.

The store owner refused and made the check out to the charity. But when he looked at his bank records a few days later, he saw the charity’s name on the check had been crossed out and “Anthony Devolder” listed as the recipient of the cashed check.

• Regina Spadavecchia, who runs the Adore-a-Bullie Paws and Claws rescue in the Bronx, said that Santos bragged about his fund-raising prowess for animal causes. Spadavecchia, who had at least a dozen dogs in her care, was eager for the help.

In March 2017, Mr. Santos posted on Facebook that he was raising money for Adore-a-Bullie, through a $5 raffle for a dinner cruise and Broadway tickets. But Spadavecchia says instead of the “thousands of dollars” Santos had promised, he only sent her about $400.

• Santos frequently utilized GoFundMe pages, direct solicitations to a PayPal account and supposed raffles for fundraising efforts. In those solicitations, Santos consistently referred to the charity as a tax-exempt organization. But neither federal nor state officials can not find records of a registered charity named Friends of Pets United.

It’s worth noting that Santos told One America News this past Saturday that  he “never handled the finances” of Friends of Pets United.

But GoFundMe has confirmed Santos’ name and email were used in connection with the numerous crowd funding campaigns on the site.

Read the full report at the New York Times.

The FBI is reportedly looking into the incident with Richard Osthoff and Sapphire.