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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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Selebraties Suck    

This week one of my beloved cats passed away. I probably should have put her down a few months ago, but she never seemed in pain. I feel guilty that my cat died while I was sleeping. I can't imagine how despondent this man felt.

I'm sure there were other factors and perhaps he had no one to speak to.

967 days ago


This is such a sad story, I think it would have been easier to move than kill your dog and yourself.

967 days ago

Misty H    

And for all your jerk offs posting unfavorable comments when someone has gone thru some horrible stuff you should be ashamed of yourself. This is just another case of being bullied in my mind and Im sorry that he felt he had no other way out and that we lost touch a few years ago. I would have done everything in my power to help them as they helped me once.

967 days ago

Misty H    

They both were friends of mine. He LOVED that dog more than life itself and although I don't agree w the way things happened they will be missed and loved. The dog was NEVER aggressive and such a sweet dog and shame on the building for harassing them both. They will be missed. Both had beautiful kind souls. Im heartbroken hearing this. RIP

967 days ago


I can see both sides of this story. And I am a pet lover, but I would have moved before taking my own life. I think there were perhaps more issues here than just a dog.

967 days ago


There is surely more to this story! Nick Santino adopted this dog from a shelter. He was also on the first rescue team to go in at the the World Trade Center (he gave them fake credentials so that he could get in and help). He is a hero, and something horrific must have happened to push him to go to this length ...

967 days ago


I had a pitbull and a Chihuahua, my Chihuahua has bitten way more people than my pitbull (who hasn't bitten a single person, since I had him). People think it's cute when my Chihuahua gets aggressive and bit people.

967 days ago


There are some vets who will humanly euthanize a dog instead of sending to a shelter to be euthanized that way, but Pit Bulls are no more aggresive than any other breed. These animals have no voices and depend on us to train them to behave the way that they should. If they are trained properly and given the best possible care they can be wonderful dogs. Unfortantly this doesn't happen often enough.

967 days ago


Go to imdb and read his life story. Could he have been suffering from depression and that was the final straw? My heart broke when I read this and then ****tered at people's lack of compasssion.

967 days ago


It's really sad how many people blame the dog instead of blaming the human. ANY dog can be aggressive. It's all in how you raise them. Pitts are no different. Watch a Chihuahua. They are KNOWN to be aggressive to all but their master. And those little teeth hurt just as much big teeth.

Pitts can be very loving and gentle. It's NOT the breed. And those of you that fall for the "blame the breed" hype are idiots. As with each and every breed, every dog has a different personality. Just like humans. Blaming the entire breed for bad acts is like saying all black people are bad. IT'S NOT TRUE!

It breaks my heart that he thought the only way out was to euthanize his dog, then do the same to himself. It shows how much he was stressed and how much he really loved his dog. He likely had other problems but this whole situation likely only made them worse.

And yes a vet will put your dog down for any reason.

967 days ago


A vet WILL put down a healthy animal. They do it ALL THE TIME. Don't be so naive. I can't believe people can still think the world is this amazing place where bad things don't ever happen. In this mans' case, it's a shame. Pit Bulls are some of the nicest, most loyal dogs you can have IF YOU PUT THE TIME IN TO RAISE THEM RIGHT. Yes, they bark.. but ALL dogs do that. I know lots of people who've own very friendly, lovable pits and never had an issue. The only one that did was a guy who liked to "rough house" with his dog. Not in a mean way, but the dog took that as an ok to be rough with everyone. Never bit or scratched, just jumped up. Any dog can be aggressive if you don't raise it right and any dog can be a loving companion if you put the time in. I don't understand this story though. He shouldn't have let them pressure him into getting rid of his dog. Sounds to me, thought, that he was already planning to commit suicide. He put the dog down as a way to make sure he knew it wouldn't end up in the pound or something.

967 days ago


Can't believe people are still asking that ridiculous question. Only ignorant people think pitbulls are more dangerous than any other breed. He should have moved and not let crazy people bring him down. Once the bullying started he should have packed his bags and found a place with better people. I know a man who moved to LA with his pitty after the stupid ban in Miami. He became a writer for TV shows and obviously his life took a turn for the better.

967 days ago

shawn hollen    

i grew up with pits rots and dobies they are all good dogs it depends on how they r raised our pit was loyal loving and very protective of our family they get a bad rap becouse of the idiots that raise them for fighting it is not the dogs who should be punished it is the owners find them and punish them

967 days ago


IM VERY disappointed TMZ I know you like to feed in to public stigmas but putting a voter for "are put bulls more aggressive"
This saddens my heart blame the deed not the breed!
Please look up war "propaganda posters pit bull" and tell me what you find?
It is because of recent history that the masses see this kind breed as monsters. Why you ask? Because when "gang bangers "white trash" go buy a "mean dog" that's what it turns into.
Please open your eyes America!!!

967 days ago

Home Skillet    

I feel horrible for this man who felt this was his only option out of the situation he was in. Never assume you understand the level of desperation some people are feeling. You don't. And, everyone has some sort of struggle - if not now, eventually. Be kind.

967 days ago
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