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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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Linda Moore    

Thanks @ Misty

965 days ago


My friend is a plastic surgeon at two major hospitals in SoCal. he said 80 % of all emergency cases that come in are dog bites and nearly all of them are Pittbulls. If you are one of the many morons who think its all the owners wise up. These are animals bred to kill. Thats a fact. They should be banned from society. Why should anyone feel threatened living next door or walking down their own street. Its selfish to own this breed, but then this is a very selfish world. I love dogs and animals and know they can be sweet but its the exception.

965 days ago


There is probably more to the story then this, however as many of you know pit bulls tend to end up Euthanized or sitting in adoption homes for years. They are completely misunderstood because of their "aggressive nature" but really its all how the actual dog is trained, if you train it to be aggressive it will be if you train it to be friendly it will be . In addition a pet becomes apart of your family, there's no greater love then the love of a pet, it teaches you things you can never understand unless you are a pet owner. My dog has been and will always be my best friend and apart of the family so I understand this mans pain with having to put his pet down because of a stupid coop bored or nosy neighbors that have no business in commenting on someones business or animal.

965 days ago


So terribly sad! A dog tried to attack my dog yesterday - it was a Poodle/Terrior (more like terror) mix. It has done this to other dogs in the area. I feel really sad for him. I would have moved - sold my condo. I wonder how old his dog was?

965 days ago


Obviously this guy had more problems than what was mentioned. Also, from another article i read, he had zero money to move. I'm not sure about the vet thing though! I live in Brooklyn, NY. My friend had to put down her 8 yr old Corgi because she became VERY aggressive and went after her 1 yr old daughter. She went to three different vets that would not help her until she had letters from certified people saying the dog could not be helped. My friend hired a trainer, a behaviourist AND got a third opinion from a vet. The dog was actually getting senile and would continue to bite. Only after all that time (and money) would a vet put her down.

965 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? Pit bulls where once the "American dog"
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 that specific animal turns into.
Please open your eyes America!!!

965 days ago

Kartrashian Klown    

He should have looked for another place for himself and his dog. Suicide could have been prevented.

965 days ago


Somebody Should find out who was harassing this man. Maybe some lawsuits should be filed .
Sad story. Who ever caused this man and his dog pain should be help accountable.

965 days ago

Michael White    

True his dog didn't deserve this....The Management Co should Be Charged with some type of crime.....After all they did cause this tragedy By harassing N. Santino and in all reality caused his demise..... Truly a very sad story

965 days ago


That's not really a fair poll. Yes pits can be more aggressive but not necessarily violent aggressive. My pit is extremely social with humans and animals big and small but yes she will jump on you and stand on her hind legs during interactions if not told to sit or put it down. People give pits such a bad rap. That's like saying all white people are land stealing, raping devils because of a hitler or dahmer. I meet many aggressive little dogs that constantly bark or go after people while my dog will generally ignore obnoxious dogs and people as well if not invited to interact.

965 days ago


Poor guy and poor puppy.
Obviously the guy had other issues, but it's still sad.
Yes pitbulls are a strong breed, but they are NOT more aggressive than any other dog. In my experience, it's the small ones you have to be careful around b/c they're babied and think they rule over everything.

965 days ago

Debbie Black    

In response to a few of the comments, from reading this story, I immediately felt that the actor was struggling with depression. He may not of felt equipped to deal with moving and giving up his beloved dog... depression is like that, I know this from personal experience, It's an overwhelming disease that can hamper a person's ability to organize even small tasks let alone a horrible situation like being forced by IGNORANT neighbours to find a new home for your companion. When I was in this state, my "Pit Bull" Rocky kept me going... I feel as if he saved my life. This is a tragic story of one man's depression and his communities abuse and prejudice. " Pit Bull" types are have been PROVEN to be one of the most loving breeds ever to grace the planet.

965 days ago


IF you put down your best friend because of 'pressure' rather than move or find him temp care with family, friends or a Pit Rescue than you should feel like s*it. That was total betrayal, on the owners part.

965 days ago

Cruise Lover    

Dog owners are nutz

965 days ago


Obviously this guy had mental issues. I'd give the dog to a friend/family. Or move out. No sense. I can't have sympathy for that, but it does suck that he was depressed and probably felt alone.

965 days ago
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