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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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@ Hannah: I understand where you are coming from about your relationships with pits, but I was bitten by a pitbull/boxer mix when I was 6 yrs old. Ripped off my upper lip and had to have plastic surgery to fix what the dog had done. But NEVER did I blame the dog. I have never walked away from a dog or any animal for that matter. I have a pit that is about to be 5 yrs old, I found him when he was 6 months old, weighing only 18 lbs, emaciated, bruised and broken from being a fighter pit. To this day he has showed NO aggressivene behaviors. He gets along with any animal and person that he comes in contact with. In fact, he bows down when a person gets too loud, thinks he is in trouble. There are soooo many good vs bad stories when it comes to this breed. Another example of people screwing this breed over is last Saturday I was called to rescue a pit mix bc some idiots were using her strictly for breeding purposes only. She gave birth to her last set of pups and actually blew her colon out of her behind, called a prolapsed rectum, once they weined the pups they just dumped her. She too is very emaciated, did one surgery on her and then the vets just gave up on her. My bf and I picked her up from the Humane Society that was about to put her down and drove her to another vet who has taken GREAT care of her and she is ready to come home tomorrow. Again, there is no aggressiveness in her, even after all she's been through.
@ Nevyn Jones: Please do your research before you go spouting off at the mouth. YOU seem to be part of the into the crap of how the breed of pits are bad. If you did research the background of pits you would have found that they were specifically bred to protect the family and children. Its when you get stupid people like Michael Vick, ghetto a-holes, stupid rednecks or wetbacks that get the breed to acting the way they are. It IS all in the way you raise your pit or pet for that matter. ALL animals have that flight or fight instinct, you back ANY animal into a corner they will come out fighting...wouldn't you??

959 days ago


47% of the people who Voted on whether or not Pit Bulls are More Dangerous and Said They Are more Dangerous are IDIOTS!!! It is Sad to Know that almost 50% of the people voting are that Ignorant! People need to do their Research...PIT BULLS Were known as NANNY DOGS for HUNDREDS of YEARS !!! Dumbass Cruel Humans ABUSE These Dogs WONDERFUL Traits and those Morons should Be Punished!!!

958 days ago

Virginia Abreu de Paula    

The article said Nick Santini commited suicide after euthanizing his dog Rocco. But it didn't happen. He killed himself after sending his dog to death. Rocco had was not sick! And that is why he felt so full with remorse. Euthanasia happens only when an animal is suffering too much and there is no cure for what he is feeling. How terrible it is to end the life of a friend only because the neighbors are intolerant to pitbulls. They should pay for it.

958 days ago


ALL dogs can be mean. Pits get a bad name. It is ****TY OWNERS not dogs.

958 days ago


Healthy dogs are eliminated every day. Unfortunately for the dog, it is the owners decision to put their pet down. I've known people to euthanize a dog just because they WERE moving. Its less of a hassle than finding a home. I'm sorry for the man, but hopefully they are at peace now.

955 days ago


Man, this story is sooooo sad. R.I.P. both of you.

954 days ago


How stupid...

954 days ago


This news is kind of ridiculous for me,-- instead of putting a health dog to death, he can give the dog away or just simply move to a more friendly neighborhood...and he did nothing but killed the dog and then killed himself ??

953 days ago


Very very sad. Wish he would have thought to get Rocco a new home. I understand his pain and the feeling of betrayal to his beloved dog though.

952 days ago

c. harris    

This is a tragedy. Anytime that a person takes their own life. He may have felt that he betrayed his best friend, but what was going on with him went further than his best friend. It appears that he may have been suffering from a deep depression. The type of depression that prevents one from making the decision(s)that others are able to make so easily. My prayer is for all those who are going through situations in their life where they feel that all hope is gone and there is NO ONE who understands or could help. Please know that you are not alone and that there are people who care and can help you. Please, please, please do not give up on life.

951 days ago


I hope the neighbors and the Condo Association are happy and proud with themselves! They bullied Nick and his dog to death... We have pets and love them like family. We would never give them to anyone.Pit bulls as well as other loved pets do not always get second good homes and are used for terrible things.Its sick that so many other people get animals so carelessly and then get rid of them or ignore them. Nick seemed like a caring man who loved his dog. HIS BEST FRIEND! To make the decision to put his best friend down or to give him to someone who would not take care of him like he did,must have been hell. Anyone who has ever had a pet they love and treat like family knows what its like to lose them or how awful it is when they are sick and you have no other option but to put them down. Nick was bullied by narrow minded self centered people who don't have a caring bone in their body! Those people will never know the unconditional love and companionship and bond between a caring person and their animal. Those kind of bullies are the kind to abuse animals and get rid of animals at their whim. Those kind of idiots are so ignorant and self centered they won't even to be able to understand anything I have written! Wow I feel better! Nick loved his dog with all that he was and his dog loved him. They were family. When Nick was bullied into putting his dog down it killed Nick too.... Under extreme stress Nick made the choice because he thought it was best... for his best friend and himself.RIP

951 days ago


Some Pits are not aggressive. My brother had a Pit named Shelby for many years. She was sweet and very smart. If the dog was grandfathered in what was managements problem. My brother now has a male Pit named Loki. He was asked by a vet to take him. Loki had been hit by a car and is just a big mushy baby. I, myself, have a 14 year old Golden Retriever and if someone asked me to put her down, I would move. Sounds like this guy had some mental health issues.

950 days ago

Calli B    

While I am a very passionate advocate for pit bulls and any and all bully breeds who are discriminated against I feel like this man took his actions a little far. Why not fight for your best friend? Try to adopt him to someone who you know he will be safe, loved with. There were A LOT of different options. I understand the helplessness that comes with Breed Specific Legislation. Breed Specific Legislation is a terrible thing. It's just another form of racism. So sad. Just so very sad.

950 days ago


Poor dog! The owner was insane. Move or find your dog a new home. Don't kill the poor innocent dog and yourself! Good Grief!!!

950 days ago


I hope you mean'sympathy for the fact that he had mental health issues obviously. That is the real tragedy, a successful young actor that evidently had some issues. The episode with the dog just triggered underlying problems. THAT is what should inspire sympathy; the issue if the building allows or not dogs is just the incidental or background catalyst, not worthy of you trivializing his death by asking sympathy for that specific tenant-re
Ated issue

949 days ago
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