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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.


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The only thing BSL has going for it, is it's ability to accurately name itself - BS!!! Now two lives have been loss to ignorance and media frenzied headlines. Did you hear about the lab that killed a child a few weeks ago? No, because it was not posted all over the newsfeeds, but as soon as a pit bull attacks, watch out world, there are vicious pitbulls out to get your children. Did you know you are more likely to die from a falling coconut than a pit bull? Let's start banning those oh so dangerous palm trees, (sarcasm) and leave the pit bulls alone!

995 days ago


I can't even believe you have this poll on pit bulls. Do you even know anything about them? First off, they are NOT more aggressive than ANY other dog. What has happened with the pitbull type is that you have idiots that breed and train them to be dog aggressive for monetary purpose. Then you have the other idiots who adopt them and don't know how to be good dog "parents" and don't train them well. Have you ever encountered a well train chiuahua (sp?)? Probably not simply because they're little dogs and their bite won't cause as much dammage. I have been bitten by so may tiny dogs but NEVER EVER by a pittie or any other bigger breed. People who thing pitties are dangerous are just ignorant and their ignorance is based of fear and belief in what they read in the tabloids and newspapers. Do right by these dogs and tell the truth!

995 days ago

Mona Milford    

Please report this story on the air and let people know that the building management where Nick Santino lived is responsible for his death and the death of Rocco. They literally broke his heart and spirit.

995 days ago


You have no business voting in the poll regarding the temperament of pitties unless you've personally known a few.

995 days ago

Ann Coleman    

I really hope people aren't looking at a person who was crippled with depression and say that he had other options. He was ill and pressured into something he couldn't live with. For no reason other than discrimination against his breed of dog. THAT is the point.

995 days ago


This is a sad story on many levels. That this guy felt he had no other action, that he was depressed and unable to reach out for help, that he was bullied because of the breed of his dog, that people who have no personal experience with a pit bull fear and discriminate against a breed rather than acting humanely and base their judgments on the individual dog and last, that people actually think they know what is right when they were not in fact there and did not experience any of what this guy went through. This is yet another tragic story based on discrimination against the breed of dog and against the man who called this dog his friend.

995 days ago


TMZ…REALLY, can’t you come up with a better pole to post? As the owner of three beautiful, loyal pit bulls I am so sick of the media blaming the breed. And what does dog aggression even have to do with this story? The man obviously was suffering from demons he couldn’t control without professional help. Too bad chose the path he did. I personally would have filed suit and moved. People fear the unknown and if you haven’t owned, loved or even been around a pit bull you shouldn’t speak of the breed!

995 days ago

Barbara Barton    

not too long ago it was the Doberman Pinscher then it was the Rottweiler and let's not forget Mastiff or the a few years it will be another breed funny how you never hear about the lab or German Shepherd that has attacked....and why we don't cause it's not good news nothing like a picture of a pit with a huge collar cut ears barking to help feed the fire of hate for a breed of dog.....narrow minded people. hate the deed not the breed

995 days ago


He had to have mental issue's. He made a good salery and did not have to live there. As far as Pitbulls go come on they have a bad rap. Look around, read the news alot more sick people out there than bad pits. I wont mention who Im addressing this too but watch your kid outside, going to and from school and especially your neighbor. Never know! by the way I have 2 pits and are more loving than most people i know.

995 days ago


Had to been more to his mental state of mind. Sad story but he could of just moved out. He had to be depressed and maybe this was just the last straw. He had other options that he could of chose. I can not believe some of the post, Ignorance at its best. Stop blaming the breed.

995 days ago


In the last decade I've lived with 3 pits, they love unconditionally, they are just like any other living thing and only become what they are conditioned to be by the people who are responsible for them, maybe the dog are victoms and the people who own them just for fighting, or for protecting their drug business or any other WRONG reason should be "put down" for their own good and for the good of everyone else. In my experience if a person mistreats an animal of any kind its just a matter of time before it turns into mistreating a child, or girl/boy friend, or something else they should be taking care of.

995 days ago


People that don't understand the human/pet bond disgust me and Ms. Willa vets do euthanize healthy animals at the request of the owner they have no other choice. If he has family I would sue the condo for the harrassment and mental torture as for him it was like having to kill a child and, if you don't believe that a person can love an animal that much kiss my bleeping arse.

995 days ago


Pit-bulls were bred to have the proper physical constitution for a fighting dog, but they still have to have the aggression trained into them. Which is what a lot of irresponsible people do; train them to be snappy and even downright ferocious. So Ginger, I'm guessing the dog that attacked your son (I hope he wasn't badly injured?) was just irresponsibly trained. Though even worse than a badly trained pitbull is one not trained at all. They're fiesty animals that need a lot of proper handling and shouldn't be near children without prior socialization

995 days ago

Laura Andrews    

Being Someone who was very afraid of pit bulls, and felt they should be banned I can tell you it was a fear of the unknown. That coupled with the irrsponsable media reports only ever showing the worst of the breed, when in fact it is such a small number of pit bulls that actually bite. I can tell you now I am the veryy happy owner of a male blue pit bull that I rescued at two yoears of age. he was found by animal control starving skin and bones. I do not know where he has come from. I do not know what he has been through, I trust him to sleep with my kids. I trust him to play in the yard with them. He is gentle and noble and it is my educated opinion that this is true not only of my dog, but of the breed itself....

995 days ago

Shelley MacDonald    

Sadly many people would like to believe pitbulls are more aggressive then other dogs but the fact is that any animal can be aggressive depending on many factors. The dog fighters would like people to believe pits are killer dogs & are good only for fighting but that is far from the truth. A dog is as smart as its' owner & a dog's temperment is groomed by the owner, A dog is forced to fight not born to fight. Smaller dogs are more aggressive then many large breeds including pits. I babysit 3 pits & they are like my grandbabies. Blame the owner not the breed!

995 days ago
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