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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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Larisa Scharikin    

Join us in our fight against another dog being unjustly treated:

975 days ago

Larisa Scharikin    

The discrimination against Pit Bulls is awful and wrong. its not the breed ..its the deed folks. So sorry about the death of the owner and the dog.

975 days ago


My families condolences go out to the his family. He killed his dog because of pressure from his condo association? Why didn't he seek help? He obviously had mental problems and could not deal with the stress. And yes, why did the Veterinarian agree to put down a dog with not problems? Even an LA County Vet refused to put down an eighteen year old dog that I adopted for someone else because there was nothing wrong with the dog. I'm not very spiritual or religous but I know that none of us have been appointed to exchange our judgment with a Supreme Being with respect to who lives and who dies and I know I would never want to have to do that. This is a very sad case on both sides.

975 days ago

Larisa Scharikin    

Please cover this unfolding International story.

975 days ago


It does not matter why he felt he had to do this or about getting rid of the dog... He did what he felt he needed to... in the state i am in pits are put down asap.. they dont even have a chance for someone to adopt... yes they can be aggressive but so can chows, labs, even chihuahuas.. it is how they are raised and bred... to be so negative saying he was an idiot or whatever is so harsh... that dog was probably the only true friend he felt he had and he most likely suffered from depression.. and those of you have never been to that dark place where you think everyone or even you would be better off dead.. you have no idea what you are talking about until you have lived that....

975 days ago


Sue the condo board for his death. Imagine that...I would have moved and if I still lived tehre, I would beat up the person in charge.

975 days ago


After 10yrs rescuing/volunteering I've nipped/bitten be two dogs, both Chihuahuas. Typically most dog bites are because people do not know how to read dog body language. Also, because news programs gravitate towards the most sensational stories and they label any dog that has a square jaw and beefy chest a 'pit bull'. But most of those dogs a purely a mix-breed dog, many may not even have that dna in them. National Geographic just published an article on dog dna - there is so much to learn. Dogs are wonderful creatures and are a product of their environment. If a dog is starved, chain, neglected or abused - regardless of breed it could 'turn', but more often than not, I have seen these dogs rehabilitated, adopted and become wonderful family pets. Case in point, many of the Michael Vick fighting dogs went on to be treasured pets and therapy dogs. Don't judge a book by it's cover judge it my it's content of character.

975 days ago


VETS EUTH HEALTH PETS ALL THE TIME. And the idiots who think it's easy to rehome a pet, especially a pit bull (even a gorgeous, healthy one with no issues) OBVIOUSLY spends more time beating their gums than volunteering with shelters and rescue groups that are filled to overflowing with wonderful pets that die by the dozens DAILY in NYC shelters and the overburdened rescue groups can only help a tiny fraction. HOW MANY FOSTERS ARE IN YOUR HOMES? HOW MANY ARE PIT BULLS? Yeah, I thought your answer would be zero. So STFU when you just want to judge things you know nothing about.

974 days ago

Wicked September    

Well, everyone seems to agree that this guy was mentally unstable. Sane, happy people don't kill themselves. His suicide is sad and I have sympathy for those who knew and loved him. That said, the homeowners association is there for a protect the homeowners and they create covenants to do just that, protect people. If you don't like the rules, then move. IF his dog was in fact "grandfathered" in then he should have been okay to reside there. Any future pit-bulls would have been prohibited which is understandable, as it is THE RULE. As far as pit bulls go hopefully you are judging them by your own personal experience as I am. I've known three in my of them mauled its owner's daughter to death, another one growled and bit my wimpy dog who just happened to walk by it. The third one almost made me change my mind about pits though. He belonged to a friend and seemed like a sweet dog. Very docile and playful until out of the blue he attacked their 2 yr old son, who luckily survived with only has a scar. The dog since has been euthanized. So, for everyone who wants to call people ignorant for thinking pit bulls are aggressive or volatile..maybe YOU should stop and think that perhaps a persons beliefs are from personal experience. There was a pit owner on here that said "We love our pit..she would protect my family. Hmm...does that mean attack someone it perceives as a threat? That's part of the attack dog mentality that should be feared. That kind of aggressive behavior coming from an ANIMAL with a wide bite span and extremely strong jaws, is a deadly weapon and should be treated as one. True, chihuahua's can bite and hurt (any dog bite would hurt!) BUT they cannot put your throat or your child in their mouth and go for the kill. Physically impossible! Pit bulls and any aggressive breed dog can and do just that. Obviously some people have pits and never have problems with them but conversely you can find former pit owners that have had dogs "snap" and they'll tell you they would never trust another one.

974 days ago

Lisa A.    

that is such B.S... I have an 11 1/2 year old pet that is like a daughter to me and there is no one in this world that could ever pressure me into making such a drastic decision. I've spent months looking for an apartment that accepted my dog and even though it's not the greatest of places I remain here for the love I have for her. There is no excuse and he deserved to kill himself for his betrayal.

974 days ago


This story makes no sense..He was obviously having other issues in his life..I would of just moved there are so many pet friendly buildings an apartment complexes, that he went to the extreme of killing his dog an then himself?? Noone playing wit a full deck would of did this..

974 days ago

Brensda Harker    

That was wrong for them to push Sanitino into putting his best friend down . Pit Bulls are no different than any other dog . Its how you raise any dog . I think that the people in the condo should be repossiable for his death. thank you Brenda Harker

974 days ago



974 days ago


A very sad story.

RIP , Nick

973 days ago


Would'nt it have been better to just move out?
or give thedog to a good home that loves pitbulls because there are plenty of them out there!!!!!!

973 days ago
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