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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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I live in Ontario Canada. We have had a Pit Bull Ban for 7 years. In that time, statistics show dog bite injuries have on average INCREASED. Ipso Facto - Ban does not my opinion.

965 days ago


This story is not about the dog, but rather that he had severe mental health problems. Provided the dog wasn't dangerous, the average person who was that attached to their pet would have either given it to a responsible person or moved. I LOVE my critters and would have in all likelihood moved. I'm certain the neighbors didn't devise a master-plan to gang up on him [although it's possible] and lodge bogus complaints. Not that it matters, but he was a good-looking guy who probably knew countless people, I CERTAIN that there would have been a stampeded of woman [and men] who would paid for the "privilege" of fostering his dog... that guy was just unbalanced.

965 days ago


poor guy, stupid laws!!

965 days ago


both his soaps were recently canceled=real reason for suicide.

965 days ago


The fact that more people agree that pitbulls are more aggressive than other dogs shows how ignorant people really are. A dog (ANY BREED) is aggressive because of BAD BREEDING and BAD OWNERS. My fiance owns a pitbull and has for 13 years and this dog has not bit a single person. In fact, this christmas my fiance bought me a kitten..and the dog and kitten sleep together. And this is a dog that gets a good spanking when hes done wrong. When people breed aggressively raised dogs with other aggressively raised dog guess what you get? an aggressive dog. To tell you the truth I find smaller dogs more temperamental than bigger. But then again, depends on how their raised.

965 days ago


Back in the day pit bulls were nanny dogs. They were cherished for their love of kids and protectiveness over them. Why should they have to suffer because some poor people in the hood want to fight them and make them aggressive? Pit Bulls are unbelievably good with kids! You know nothing of the breed if you think they are more aggressive than other dogs! Irresponsible owners are to blame.

965 days ago


This guy could have given his dog to a rescue organization, or he could have moved. How insane is this story?!
That being said, Pits are abandoned everyday. People who raise pits do so for usually two main reasons, dogfighting, or "protection". I am all for a dog tax on pits. 5 dollars for a "fixed" pit, and 100 dollars for an intact pit. There are way too many pits out there, and way too many owners who think they can control them.

965 days ago


Anybody who actually believes that pit bulls are the most aggressive dog is an idiot.

965 days ago


People who think pit bulls are more aggressive clearly don't work in the animal care industry... and are morons who can't think for themselves. Huskies are more dangerous if you believe the data, since they're responsible for most human deaths up here).

I've been mauled twice in my life, both times by Rottweilers, but I'm not ignorant enough to think that by default the whole breed is "more aggressive than other dogs" just because of what happened to me. I know better than that, and have met TONS of Rottweilers that were and are, amazing pets. It's the owner, and the situation that makes for a dangerous dog, NOT THE BREED.

I feel so sorry for the guy. He must have felt so lost and helpless... I doubt anyone actually tried to HELP the guy come up with a solution to the problem (like moving out to somewhere more dog-friendly). The people who complained about the barking should be ashamed of themselves. And Vet's aren't Canine Behaviorists, and are NOT qualified to state whether or not a dog is becoming aggressive. [I know tons of dogs that HATE the Vet but are perfectly behaved outside the clinic] The one that told him that, should loose his license to practice animal medicine! If my Vet ever tried to tell me something like that about one of my pets. I'd change Vets!

965 days ago


he should had just move! I got an American bulldog but he don't scare the neighbors.

965 days ago


I am so sick of these people know the breed not the deed. This is what people do they will judge a whole breed or even a whole ethnic group by one person. I am so grateful that we have a God that does not see breed color race. I have a pitty who is afraid of the 12lb house cat give me a break people.

965 days ago


If we wanna focus on "should have done"s... the proper answer is... he should have shot all his ******* neighbors first. I hate bossy neighbors and I hate bossy people who think they have the right to impose upon other people's rights. Anyone who blames this man is what Michel Foucault labelled "disciplinary individuals" and they follow what Friedrich Nietzsche called "slave morality." **** the cattle herd of *******s.

965 days ago


What a total tradegy. I hope that the people in his building are proud of themselves. Euthanizing your healthy dog and suicide are never the answers, and it is so incredibly sad that he didn't see any other way. RIP to both of them.

965 days ago

Julie Nash    

This is so, so tragic. I have compassion for both the guy and the dog. More victims from the absolutely senseless and totally unnecessary bully breed prejudice. Makes by blood boil.

965 days ago


This is an overall sad story. I cannot believe he did what he did. I would have kept fighting! But what is done is done. Poor dog! Listen, pit bulls are more likely to be aggressive than nice. I have two right now and they are nice to people but dog aggressive. They have to be kept separated! One we had since he was a puppy, and other one we rescued from an abusive home. I know it begins with the owner, but all you ever hear in the news is pit bull attacks! I am an owner of two and I would never EVER get another pit bull as a pet again! Too much work, they have too much energy.

965 days ago
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