Nick Santino, a struggling soap opera actor, committed suicide after facing the grief of putting his beloved dog down.
The "All My Children" actor apparently couldn't live with the guilt of having his pit bull, Rocco, euthanized. He was so distraught, he took his own life a day after his birthday.
Santino euthanized his dog, Rocco, on his 47th birthday, last Tuesday, after feeling pressure from his Upper West Side condo's management, according to The New York Post.
"Today I betrayed my best friend and put down my best friend," Santino wrote in a suicide note. "Rocco trusted me and I failed him. He didn't deserve this."
Rocco was a five-year-old healthy dog. The condo's management has refused to take responsibility, according to The Huffington Post.
Santino, who was raised in orphanages and foster homes, rescued Rocco from a shelter several years ago. However, he thought Rocco had rescued him, according to his Facebook page.
"I did not rescue Rocco, Rocco rescued me," Santino wrote.
The last phone call Santino made was to a former girlfriend early Wednesday morning, reports The Post. Police found his dead body in his bedroom later that day. He died from a pill overdose.
Santino's friends and neighbors said that he was being harassed by the building's management after the building began to enforce strict dog regulations that included a ban on pit bulls. The ban didn't apply to Rocco, since Santino had him in the building before the ban came into effect in 2010.
Neighbors said that Rocco couldn't ride the main elevators and could not be left alone in Santino's apartment for over nine hours. Santino was also threatened with a $250 fine for having a barking dog, but a neighbor said that Rocco wasn't a barker.
"The dog was not a barker, but somebody complained that the dog would bark," said Kevan Cleary, Santino's neighbor and a law professor. "People would complain about his dog ... it was open season on him."
Cleary indicated that Santino felt like he was being targeted because he had the only pit bull in the building.
Another neighbor, Liam Pettigrew, agreed. She said everybody knew that Santino was being harassed by the building management.
Rocco's remains were cremated. The same will be done for Santino.