Chances are, you’ve encountered third-hand accounts of Nick Santino’s suicide on dog advocacy websites or Facebook updates. Santino, we’re said, was so distraught over “breed specific legislation” that forced him to have his pet pit bull destroyed–as well as crabby neighbors who apparently were prejudiced against his pet–that he killed himself. Wow, pretty extreme story there, and as with many claims involving pit bull terriers, it also appears to be ridiculously embellished.
here’s what we know from mainstream media’s version of events, for unspecified reasons, a condo association tightened up their dog policy in 2010 (i bet $100 there is a scary elevator encounter with a pit bull). one of their new rules included a pit bull ban. SANTINO’S pit mix was grandfathered in but SANTINO was restricted from using the elevator and he could not leave the dog alone for more than 9 hours. reasonable restrictions for the safety and welfare of both ROCCO and the other residents. we also know that SANTINO was facing fines for barking and more importantly, SANTINO’S own vet reported that ROCCO was becoming “increasingly more aggressive”. rather than move or place his best friend in a new home, the struggling actor had his dog euthanized, called an ex-girl friend, then took an overdose.
reality check: healthy, well adjusted people do not take their supposedly “healthy and friendly” pit mix to the vet to be euthanized, then go home, call an ex-girl friend and kill themselves. i find a few of the details significant.
It’s really annoying me that some folks are blaming BSL for this suicide rather than Santino himself on some of the activist websites I frequent.
Yet, when that fellow in Zanesville shot himself and doomed his herd of lions, tigers, and bears–it was almost universally seen as another example of why dangerous “pets” should be regulated–not a rallying cry in favor of unrestricted ownership of such animals!