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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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Why didn't he just move?

995 days ago


People make animals aggresive and mean... animals just want to please. Shame on the persons who only wanted to have this man's pet taken away and refused to be educated. They won't care anyway... self-righteous types never do. God Bless Rocco and Mr. Santino.

995 days ago


Pits as a breed ARE NOT dangerous. Humans breed some to be aggressive. If someone of a different skin color attacked your child, would you put blame on that race as a whole? It is an unfair assumption to make.

995 days ago


this is so sad. im sure he was distraught that he put his dog down, but why he didnt just find him a home is beyond me...instead, he put his dog down then killed himself?? i dont get it. obviously something wasnt quite right with santino if he thought euthanizing rocco and then committing suicide was a good answer. neither one was, in my opinion...

995 days ago


How very sad and tragic. As one person who commented wrote to check his obit on, it explained a lot. He was left at an orphanage at five months of age and pretty much became self sufficient as a 16 year old, putting himself through college and earning two degrees. That poor man probably found his greatest security from life in that dog and then when he felt that his options had run out, he put the dog down and then himself. If you have never felt pity for a person, I can't think of many others who are as deserving of pity as this poor fellow. He was also one of the rescuers in NY during 911.

995 days ago

nevyn jones    

People commenting on this article seem to be making the mistake that most people do when talking about Pit Bull Terriers and aggression: they fail to differentiate between dog-dog aggression and dog-human aggression. The two are NOT the same thing. Many dogs that are completely fine with other dogs have issues with humans, and many, many dogs that are super-friendly to humans are not safe with other dogs. Pit Bull Terriers are in the latter category - a Pit with the proper temperament is extremely friendly to humans, and the vast majority of them won't bite humans no matter how badly they're treated. However, the same is far, far, from true as regards Pit Bulls and other animals; it's NOT "all in how you raise and train them", but in their very nature to be aggressive towards other dogs.
The breed was created for the express purpose of fighting and killing other dogs, and nearly all Pits retain the fighting instinct. If properly trained and handled, they don't randomly attack other dogs, but the aggressive instinct is still there. Most Pits are OK with other dogs they know well, but are not to be trusted with those they don't.

995 days ago


Santino proved a big point true love and people who think pitbulls are bad is those who need education .

995 days ago

Nehmo Sergheyev    

The implication of the article is that the neighbors and building management couldn't force him to get rid of his dog, so they bullied him into it. Then, being depressed, and I'm sure not getting consolation from these neighbors, he killed himself.
He shouldn't have killed the dog. He should have killed them.

995 days ago

Cheryl Walker    

So very tragic that this man had to put his dog down due to the ignorance of others in regard to his breed of dog, i can totally relate to his sadness in having to do so & so very sad he had to end his own life.

994 days ago

Cheryl Walker    

So very tragic that this man had to put his dog down due to the ignorance of others in regard to his breed of dog, i can totally relate to his sadness in having to do so & so very sad he had to end his own life.

994 days ago


It's sad. But I know where he was comming from. Six months ago my dog died. He wouldn,t eat could hardly walk, there was no choice but to put him down. Called a vet on Saturday and arranged for dreaded deed on Sunday. Stayed up all night with him telling him it was time to go,crying all the time. Went to bed, woke up three hrs. latter and the dog passed away. Even in the end he made it easier for me. He knew it would be hell on me to keep that appointment.

994 days ago

Steve Bishop    

I've heard of many reasons for killing yourself, and I believe every sane person has the right to decide their own destiny, but this. Stupid ass!

994 days ago


Um... why didn't he move to another place? Why didn't he find the dog a new home? Why didn't he contact a Pit Bull rescue to take the dog? I'm sorry the guy found life so painful that he felt he had no other choice but to kill himself, but I just think there's more to the story than has been reported.

994 days ago

Sheri Richmond    

Pitt Bulls get such a bad name I have two Pitt bulls it is how you Train them treat them love them.You have control over your dog if it is a Pitt bull or any other Dog period. My Pitts our the most friendly Dog ever .Shhhhhhhh i,m not telling when you Pitt bull lets a puddle eat his food sleep in his house and lay there come on guy give me a break!!!!!!

994 days ago

Beverly Trottier    

How tragic! I wish he had asked for help from others - we could have recommended ideas - like moving to another home which accepts pitties.
I cannot comment on the "yes/no" of pits as aggressive dogs - some are - some are not. I've had both. The breed characteristics are known - just as Rottweilers are, Akitas are....etc.... the vote question is unfair.

994 days ago
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