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Struggling Soap Actor

Commits Suicide After

Euthanizing Beloved Dog

1/28/2012 5:15 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF

Nick Santino and his beloved dog
A soap actor killed himself this week on his 47th birthday ... hours after he was forced to put his beloved dog to sleep under pressure from his Manhattan condo.

According to the NY Post the building had a ban on pit-bulls, but Nick Santino's dog had been grandfathered in ... which didn't sit well with some of the neighbors. Some claimed the dog was loud and aggressive, but others said building management was just harassing Santino ... trying to force him to get rid of the dog.

Santino had Rocco put to sleep on Tuesday -- for some reason he felt that was his only option.

According to the paper, a tearful Santino brought dog treats to the doorman and said, "Give these to the other dogs. Rocco is no more."

Later that day Santino left a suicide note that read, "Today I betrayed my best friend and put down my best friend ... Rocco trusted me and I failed him. He didn't deserve this."

Santino -- who has appeared on "All My Children" and "The Guiding Light" -- OD'd on pills early the next morning.

Rocco was cremated and friends told the Post Santino will be too.

414 COMMENTS

No Avatar
136.

digital_one    

I would have kill most of the neighbors before committing suicide.

967 days ago
137.

Donna     

All you people saying he should have found the dog a home. Good luck with that. The dog was already a rescue. And perhaps the dog was healthy but fairly advanced in age. We don't know. And Willa, or whatever your name is, vets put healthy dogs down ALL THE TIME. What do you think is going on at shelters? Only sick dogs are being out down? You are seriously living with your head in the sand. Pets are very important to people. We can get attached to an animal, especially a dog that has been a friend. You think dogs aren't our friends? You think they don't love us? And so WHAT if this person was predisposed to depression? The dog probably helped his depression and the forces that caused this to happen were unfair and unnecessary. Furthermore, I have owned pure bred Shepherds, pure bred ****er Spaniels, and used to have a paper route when I was kid where there were Dobermans and Rottweilers. The pits I've known and the one I own are much less aggressive than any of them. Pits are sweet, emotional animals, easy to train, and loyal friends. Although, I love ALL dog breeds.

967 days ago
138.

Steinberg    

Poor guy probably just had a tough time with life in general and this whole ordeal was the boiling point.

But let's be perfectly realistic here, as opposed to Beagles, Pitbulls bite people more often.

967 days ago
139.

Cindy    

My pit bull just spent days at a university's vet school for cancer surgery and I saw her win over students that I could tell were uncomfortable with her because of her breed. By the time she came home, everyone there was in love with her. Pit bulls do not deseve to be banned, but some people should be banned from having pit bulls. I wish he could have found another way...but I've been there too and I do not think that it means he was crazy.

967 days ago
140.

Sarasmushu    

Shame on the condo association, this is truly one of the saddest stories I have heard in a long time. I feel for the Vet who put the dog to sleep, it is not an easy thing to do specially when you know the dog is healthy, but having been in the situation on having to put a healthy dog to sleep i know how heart breaking it is.
I'm Glad that he will be reunited with his dog, it's sad that it had to happen this way.
BUT you know what? Maybe we can all learn something from this

967 days ago
141.

Prudy    

You people that are judging ...Why not give dog away?....Why not move? This is a so sad...since we are not Nick we will never know...there was some part of him that couldn't give his beloved Rocco away.. a love that was so dear he could not bear to live without. or with.. after doing what he felt he had to do...*TEARS* ...That this had to happen due to stupidity of ignorant people that cant get past the fact that pitbull is a breed of dog...not a dangerous breed unless raised to be..and people that love them should be allowed to have themi n their HOMES if they CHOOSE...NOT be the choice of others... ALL OF YOU STUIPD IGNORANT PEOPLE THAT CHOOSE TO SUPPORT BSL AND TELLING PEOPLE WHAT THAY CAN AND CANNOT HAVE IN THIER OWN HOME...YOU CAUSED THIS...IF YOU THINK THAT YOU ARE NOT..KEEP TELLING YOURSELF THAT IF IT LESSENS YOUR GUILT...this was pure love...there is not other way to describe it...♥.RIP Nick and Rocco♥ now you can be together always in peace w/o the harrasment and ignorance .

967 days ago
142.

Voodoo woman    

This post broke my heart. Sometimes people get so stressed because of the cir***stances in life, perhaps they have no support system, sometimes it just feels that nobody cares if they or a beloved pet have no way out. The comments I've read just reinforces my feelings that most people who are so hateful can ddo so because they dont have to face the light of day and would probably deny it if challenged. Many people are no better than vermin. Karma is a bitch please remember this post when it hits you up side the head. I will open the gates to hell for you, its clear you are already lost.

967 days ago
143.

Prudy    

You people that are judging ...Why not give dog away?....Why not move? This is a so sad...since we are not Nick we will never know...there was some part of him that couldn't give his beloved Rocco away.. a love that was so dear he could not bear to live without. or with.. after doing what he felt he had to do...*TEARS* ...That this had to happen due to stupidity of ignorant people that cant get past the fact that pitbull is a breed of dog...not a dangerous breed unless raised to be..and people that love them should be allowed to have themi n their HOMES if they CHOOSE...NOT be the choice of others... ALL OF YOU STUIPD IGNORANT PEOPLE THAT CHOOSE TO SUPPORT BSL AND TELLING PEOPLE WHAT THAY CAN AND CANNOT HAVE IN THIER OWN HOME...YOU CAUSED THIS...IF YOU THINK THAT YOU ARE NOT..KEEP TELLING YOURSELF THAT IF IT LESSENS YOUR GUILT...this was pure love...there is not other way to describe it...♥.RIP Nick and Rocco♥ now you can be together always in peace w/o the harrasment and ignorance ..People please remember even though he was a celeb...he does have family

967 days ago
144.

cindy    

The chances of finding a good home for an adult Pit Bull is extremely rare. About 80% of the dogs in shelters are Pits. And if you do find someone that will take your dog, you have to be really careful that they are not going to use it for dog fighting or sell to animal testing labs. Unfortunately many "struggling" actors are in bad financial situations. It's very hard to find a rental propery that allows Pits.

967 days ago
145.

Debbie Black    

"Grandfathered" means that the older law will still apply to you rather than the new one. In this case, it means that although these ignorant people banned so called "Pit Bulls" Santino's dog was legally alllowed to stay as he was "grandfathered under the old law... however, sadly, Santino and his dog were still harassed and discriminated against by uncaring, irresponsible neighbours. This poor man was obviously suffering from depression, his community could have really helped by offering him and his dog friendship and support, instead their hatred pushed him over the edge.

967 days ago
146.

Sandy    

Pity for a idiot that took his own life? Why didn't he just move?

967 days ago
147.

A    

ILLEGAL. YOU CAN NOT BAN A BREED OF DOGS ANYWHERE IN NEW YORK STATE. IT IS NEW YORK STATE LAW.

967 days ago
148.

crazy    

Pit bulls are naturally sweet and docile creatures and the most misunderstood breed. They are TRAINED to be agressive by irresponsibe owners. This is truly an incidient where the media has manipulated uneducated ****s to believing they are harmful. Educate yourselves people.

967 days ago
149.

ShoeGurlie    

soooooooooooooooooooooo sad omg! **** those rotten heartless bastards who banned pitbulls from the building! i hope you are happy now!!!!!! those dogs are no more meaner then any others! it depends on the owner if the dog is mean or not not the breed of the dog! god bless them both. such a tragedy :((((((((

967 days ago
150.

Cindy    

In answer to the #1 commenter, YES a vet will put down a healthy dog. It's pay for service. Next, this guy must have felt he was too broke to go elsewhere. Who would put down a dog just to stay in a building?
The actor made a stupid decision. I would go homeless before killing my animals. My life would not be worth living without them......as obviously the actor felt also.
But the fact that he actually made it to the vet and did the deed, was pretty amazing. I don't blame him for killing himself. What a sad tragedy.

967 days ago
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