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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.


No Avatar

Jen W    

For those of you who choose to believe pit bulls are more dangerous, here are some facts:

The pit bull scored higher on temperament tests than 121 other breeds... including golden retrievers to name one. They are smart, loyal and loving. They are judged based on appearance and 78% of the pit bulls that enter shelters die because of their name and look. That is discrimintation and it has to stop. Yes, the poor guy had some mental issues, but he shouldn't have had to deal with such ignorant people who bullied him and his dog. Very wrong. Discrimination is wrong in any way, and we have to stand up and say enough is enough.

997 days ago

debbie pugh    

This is so sad..I have a Pitbull I love more than anything..No way in hell I would have ever put my dog down because of some STUPID law..I would have moved first...I hope they both RIP...

997 days ago

amy paul    

its a shame that people want to blame the breed. i dont understand how every generation jumps on the wagon train & deems a certain breed the bad breed. wake up people!! its the owners not the breed. im sure if you beat any dog, itll be mean. if you were abused everyday, wouldnt you have a bad attitude??????

997 days ago

Janice Holladay    

The story, if true, is a tragedy all around. Healthy dogs are euthanized every day, and the harassment of pits and other "bully" breeds and their owners is a true problem. I would never do that to my dog. It's quite possible that this was a man who was contemplating suicide anyway, and this is just the course it took. I do think that his sense of guilt was justified. He did something horrible and betrayed his best friend for an apartment, but he if he was thinking of suicide himself, he may have let his dog go first because he did not know how to leave him behind. I don't know all that happened. If he was a patient of mine, I'd really have to look at the entire thing much more closely. However, I think there is pressure on those with pits and other bully breeds. There are places, even in the US, where they will confiscate your dog and kill it just because it looks a certain way.

Any loss of life is a tragedy. I wish this man had felt he had a different solution for both himself and his dog. Obviously not a person thinking clearly in many ways.

997 days ago


How is BSL (Breed Specific Legislation) any different from WW2 when the nazis where killing all the jewish people.Only this time its not people they are killing,just your friends and or family AKA(Pitt Bulls)....A bit offensive but, think about it.

997 days ago


Pitt bulls, German Shepherds, Dobermans, Boxers, Rotties,
Poodles, yes Poodles too. Any one of these and many other dogs can be trained, Yes I said trained to be guard dogs, Police dogs and fighting dogs. It doesn't matter the breed. An even tempered dog can be trained to mean. It isn't the dog, is is the owner, trainer that make the dog what it turns out to be.

997 days ago


Someone wrote there is no headline about a small dog attacking a child? What about the tiny Pomerian that KILLED a baby last year in California? ANY dog can kill. WHY weren't there so many pitbull attacks 30 years ago? Because they were not yet used by gangs, criminals, drug dealers, etc to be made aggressive from severe neglect and abuse. Put the pieces together!

997 days ago

Susan O.    

First of all do any of you know how many pitbulls are euthanized daily across the nation because nobody WANTS them? He knew he wouldn't be able to find a home for his dog and was probably afraid he'd end up in the wrong hands...euthanasia would be preferable...especially if he was planning on ending his own life. This man was obviously depressed and maybe he just couldn't take any more crap! Unless you've been in his shoes you have no business judging.

997 days ago

Sue Keating    

Willa-vets put down healthy, adoptable dogs every day! Shelters are full of them. Why he thought putting the dog to sleep was a viable alternative we'll never know, because there were so many other alternatives I feel sorry for him. He enacted a permanent solution to a temporary problem. For those of you who think pits are dangerous, you're right. ANY dog has the ability to be "dangerous". Pits should NOT be owned by ppl without strong pack leadership skills. Period. If you don't know dogs well, this is not the breed for you, nor is any other "gladiator" breed of dog.

997 days ago

martina steed    

I am a volunteer at an animal control and I find the Bully Breed the most loving of all the breeds I have met. They are also the most abused dogs I have ever come across. It breaks my heart of the ignorance there is in the world today.

997 days ago


It's a common misconception that Pitts are bad dogs. But they are not. All you have to do is research them. I used to buy into that fear, that prejudice. But when my husband was adamant about getting one, I researched them for months. I talked to a number of reputable dog breeders about them.

Pitts are natural family dogs. They are good with children. And, yes, they are strong protectors. Because of their strength and tolerance for pain, bad people are able to turn good dog bad.

It's all about the breeding (people who breed fighters will only breed the who are aggressive...who have "game", reputable breeders will neuter those pups ASAP), and how they are raised.

I had a Pitt for 10 years. We just put him down a few months ago. When he was 3, I got pregnant and he became my shadow. Always following me around to protect me. He knew I was pregnant before I did! When my son was born, he was nothing but gentle with him. My 2 boys could climb on him, pull on him, pinch him, step on him, do anything they wanted, and he wouldn't even flinch. His only response was to lick them. I never once feared leaving the kids alone with him.

People need to get their heads out of their asses and educate themselves. Pitts are not the enemy. Just like with any dog, the breeders and trainers are the ones turning them bad.

997 days ago

susan schramm    

I wonder if he wanted to die and so he put his dog down before himself?

997 days ago


I love dogs. I hate pit bulls. They were bred for one reason kill. You say it's the owners, huh? So, if I had a lion that I raised from the womb and treated with only love that when it grew up it wouldn't want to eat me? Yeah...right. This kind of dog was born to kill. I say get rid of all of them!

997 days ago


**** the tenants association, they're evil and vicious monsters! If this was me, I would be getting even!

997 days ago

Teresa Rincones    

In no way are pit bulls more aggressive than other dogs. I have been bitten by many dogs and not one of them were pits. I have personally owned one for almost 7 years and she has never been aggressive and neither have none of the many, many I've been around.

997 days ago
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