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Old 01-29-2012, 01:51 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Suicide after the loss of a pet?

A client just asked me if I had heard about the man that killed himself after being "forced" to euthanize his pit bull. I googled, and was shocked to find, in addition to the case the client mentioned, to more incidents of people committing suicide after the loss of thier pet(s):

http://www.monstersandcritics.com/sm...over-dog-grief


Memphis Woman Commits Suicide After Pets Were Taken Away|Memphis Breaking News, Weather & Sports | WPTY-TV | ABC24, abc24.com


Indian Couple Commits Suicide Over the Death of Their Dog | Fox News


I love my pets dearly, but I just can't imagine. IMO, these people (at least in the first two cases) have had to have some other underlying issue going on. I can't understand why the man with the APBT would not have just moved out. Even placing the dog should have been more acceptable to him than euthanizing.

Thoughts?
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Old 01-29-2012, 02:08 PM   #2 (permalink)
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In a lot of cases the grief isn't so very different than the loss of a human relative. It's not a case of pick up and move on for everyone.

I hang out on the dog cancer list, and (especially) when those old people, who live alone, lose their dearest friend, it is gut-wrenching to see what they go through.

Sometimes loss support groups can help these people but not all.

When I lost EmilyB, I wanted to die. I didn't commit suicide, but it wasn't as if the thought didn't cross my mind.

I'd like to think I am more prepared for the next round, but you never can be.
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Old 01-29-2012, 02:15 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I can see the parallel between losing a pet and a human family member in terms of extreme grief. That being said, when it comes to suicide in general, I have to agree with you, OP, that there is likely some sort of underlying issue that leads to them making the decision to actually take their own life.
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Old 01-29-2012, 02:17 PM   #4 (permalink)
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In a lot of cases the grief isn't so very different than the loss of a human relative. It's not a case of pick up and move on for everyone.
That is certainly not the case for me. There are endless degrees between suicide and pick up and move on.
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Old 01-29-2012, 02:18 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I couldn't read the first story, but if I was alone when I lost Misha, I might have thought about it harder.

But the second case was.. err.. over the top.
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Old 01-29-2012, 02:21 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Soap actor Nick Santino commits suicide over dog grief
By April MacIntyre Jan 29, 2012, 15:03 GMT

Actor Nick Santino committed suicide in the wake of putting his healthy pit bull mix down after intense pressure to get ride of the dog from his Upper West Side condo association.


Grief and despair overcame Santino, a cast member on "Al My Children" and "Guiding Light" as he euthanized his dog, Rocco, on his 47th birthday.

“Today I betrayed my best friend and put down my best friend,” Santino wrote in a suicide note, said close friend Stuart Sarnoff to the New York Post.

Santino had rescued Rocco from a shelter several years ago.

The Post reports that Santono, who was raised in an orphanage and foster homes, soon began to write about his pet on Facebook, writing, “I did not rescue Rocco, Rocco rescued me.”

In 2010, Santino's building changed their dog regulations, including a ban on pit bulls.

Neighbors reportedly made life difficult for the actor and his dog.

The New York Post reports that Santino had the healthy dog down over pressure from his landlord last week.

“He was distraught and remorseful about putting down his best friend,” Cleary said.

Santino overdosed on pills the night he had put Rocco down.
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Old 01-29-2012, 02:28 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Soap actor Nick Santino commits suicide over dog grief
By April MacIntyre Jan 29, 2012, 15:03 GMT

Actor Nick Santino committed suicide in the wake of putting his healthy pit bull mix down after intense pressure to get ride of the dog from his Upper West Side condo association.


Grief and despair overcame Santino, a cast member on "Al My Children" and "Guiding Light" as he euthanized his dog, Rocco, on his 47th birthday.

“Today I betrayed my best friend and put down my best friend,” Santino wrote in a suicide note, said close friend Stuart Sarnoff to the New York Post.

Santino had rescued Rocco from a shelter several years ago.

The Post reports that Santono, who was raised in an orphanage and foster homes, soon began to write about his pet on Facebook, writing, “I did not rescue Rocco, Rocco rescued me.”

In 2010, Santino's building changed their dog regulations, including a ban on pit bulls.

Neighbors reportedly made life difficult for the actor and his dog.

The New York Post reports that Santino had the healthy dog down over pressure from his landlord last week.

“He was distraught and remorseful about putting down his best friend,” Cleary said.
Santino overdosed on pills the night he had put Rocco down.
Thank you - wow. I can see how he wouldn't want to put true dog in a rescue, but jeez.
I kind of hope the neighbors feel like *******s now.
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Old 01-29-2012, 02:30 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I truly hope that there is actually more to that story...like he did REALLY REALLY try to find somewhere else to live or someone else who could care for the dog. Otherwise, I hate to say it, but yeah he did kind of betray his best friend if he didn't do everything in his power to avoid putting him down. Of course, assuming he did and was really to the point of either taking Rocco to shelter (where I'm guessing he would likely be put down) or taking Rocco to the vet and being with him til the end then I guess he did right by his buddy. Still, back to the original point, I do think that suicide (or the attempt) is related to other underlying issues going on.

Last edited by Tater927; 01-29-2012 at 02:33 PM..
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Old 01-29-2012, 02:37 PM   #9 (permalink)
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That is certainly not the case for me. There are endless degrees between suicide and pick up and move on.
I think sometimes healthy humans forget that flu can sometimes be just a PITA, or it can be deadly--and likewise, depression and grief can be anything from an "endless degree" to a terminal illness.

I didn't read the links, but if someone's main support system is their pet family members/friends, and they lose that, it can be devastating. One would hope they'd find a way to get treatment and help, before it came to suicide, but the very nature of the illness goes hand-in-hand with not thinking clearly.
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Old 01-29-2012, 02:38 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Profound inertia can set in with clinical depression and the person loses the ability to make decisions and the energy to carry them out. A move may have been beyond his power. Having a routine to hang onto like caring for a pet actually can make a difference between life and death for the heavily depressed person.

He may have been planning the suicide already--like a murder suicide situation, the depressive can be deluded enough to think that those who were once dear to him (his dog, in this case) would not be taken care of or happy without him and that they would be better off dead.

A lot of folks are scornful of a person who does this kind of thing--I am just sorry.....I think the whole situation is tragic.
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Old 01-29-2012, 02:57 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Everybody makes their own decisions.

Death, and suicide, are terrifying. Losing somebody is terrifying. And yes, I count one's dog as "somebody"; frequently your relationship with your dog is going to be more close and real than it might be with people you've known for years. With people you always have to explain, and quantify, and consider.

I doubt that I would. But I can't villainize people who have.
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Old 01-29-2012, 08:47 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Grief is profound. And everyone experiences it differently. And there certainly are no "you should have, or you need to" in the equation. If you can rationaly get yourself some help before you do something (in the case of suicide), then the bottom rung of the ladder has not been stepped off of. Maybe in this person's ladder of life, the bottom was just easier to deal with. Suicide is not about what other people are dealing with, it is what you are dealing with and in someone's mind, perhaps there are no options. I feel sad for both the dog and his owner.
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Old 01-29-2012, 08:48 PM   #13 (permalink)
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I won't commit suicide but I'm 100% sure that I'll be totally depressed. I have many experiences to say good bye to my pets, but never to a dog.
If, no not if, when the day will come, I'll vent or moan in a different forum.
The saddest thing to the guy was he couldn't get any support by others.
For the doberman owners, DT is here to listen and support.
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Old 01-30-2012, 10:51 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Yes - that poor actor must have had some other major problems, to put the dog down rather than try to rehome it or move. A stable person doesn't think like that.. a stable person at the very least would have taken the dog to a shelter, I think.

I guess if I were much older, maybe in failing health and my dog were my best friend and all I had left.. I guess I could see how some people may not really want to live anymore after that.

I think it's good to be aware of this issue because there are so many people who just can't understand real grief after the loss of a pet. And so people might not even recognize when a friend or family member is really struggling with that kind of grief, and if no one intervenes the consequences can be tragic.
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Old 01-31-2012, 12:08 AM   #15 (permalink)
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In a lot of cases the grief isn't so very different than the loss of a human relative. It's not a case of pick up and move on for everyone.
There so many people that have so much of their identity wrapped in their pets that it's not surprising that some of them commit suicide after their pets loss.
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Old 01-31-2012, 01:45 AM   #16 (permalink)
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If you want to commit suicide when your friend dies, no matter if it's a pet or human, you have a big mental problem.
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Old 01-31-2012, 02:49 AM   #17 (permalink)
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sometimes people feel like they are alone in the world and I think that they feel that their pet is the only one there for them and so when they die it is a little beyond devastating. I think dogs kill themselves after their owner dies from starving themselves to purposely running in traffic. We may think its insane and not logical but to them their pets is what was their everything, to each their own.

I do hope there is more to the story with the actor, I had somewhat of a similar story with my last Doberman Gabriel. I tried to look for all the possibilities before I had to put down my healthy 9 1/2 year Dobie.

I called rescues and looked for another home by myself but there was no luck, no one wanted a dog aggressive Doberman. I got him when he was 3 and the owner before me did not socialize him, when he met his first dog he was attacked. I worked with him all his life and he made huge improvement, but it wasnt enough.

So when it came down to it I waited to the very last day I had to put him down to think about it and my thoughts were that if he were to go to another family and he were to be walked by a someone and they were to loose control of him and he attacked another dog that was being walked by a little kid, that little kid could get hurt and that could come back to me and I could get sued.

So in the end even though he was healthy it was the right thing to do, if I wanted to keep him I would have had to pay $1000 a year for insurance, buy a 6 foot high enclosed kennel. Put a muzzle on him everywhere we went and pay a filing fee every year that he was alive. It all added up to $1,400 and at the time I could not come up with that in 10 days.

So when the time came I was distraught, I felt HORRIBLE putting down my healthy dog, his death was the longest to get over out of my 8 dogs. Its different when you have to put them down when they are healthy. I was so upset that after a month I had to talk to a animal communicator. She helped me have closure.

So I am happy to know that I did everything possible to save him and I hope that actor did the same, if not I agree that there was some sort of under lying problem.
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Old 01-31-2012, 06:38 AM   #18 (permalink)
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When I had to put my first dobe down, full of cancer, closure was difficuly for me because I felt like I let my dobe down.
I felt this way because the vet would not let me hold my sick girl in my arms, when the fatal needle was given.
I was sent to the office, during the final seconds. I have since changed vets.
It took me 2 years and my wife 5 years, to stop thinking of this dog daily.

While I never thought I would have a better dog, our current Amy is more that I could have wished for.
However at 11 years old now...her time on earth, is shrinking - and when the time comes, she will die in my arms, if I have anything to do with it.
She has been through two 1-3/4 hour operations, in the last few years...and I took it hard.
Our Vet fought to keep Amy alive, while she was passing on the operating table...and I think she pulled through for me.

My only hope now is to get out of a depression, when she dies...is to get a puppy ASAP.
That is the approach, I am planning this time...I am not waiting years, to replace a dog again.
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Old 01-31-2012, 10:04 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Beaumont67 View Post
When I had to put my first dobe down, full of cancer, closure was difficuly for me because I felt like I let my dobe down.
I felt this way because the vet would not let me hold my sick girl in my arms, when the fatal needle was given.
I was sent to the office, during the final seconds. I have since changed vets.
It took me 2 years and my wife 5 years, to stop thinking of this dog daily.

While I never thought I would have a better dog, our current Amy is more that I could have wished for.
However at 11 years old now...her time on earth, is shrinking - and when the time comes, she will die in my arms, if I have anything to do with it.
She has been through two 1-3/4 hour operations, in the last few years...and I took it hard.
Our Vet fought to keep Amy alive, while she was passing on the operating table...and I think she pulled through for me.

My only hope now is to get out of a depression, when she dies...is to get a puppy ASAP.
That is the approach, I am planning this time...I am not waiting years, to replace a dog again.
I cant believe the first vet wouldnt allow you to hold her, I was able to hold Gabriel. He never showed fear of anything the whole time I owned him aside from the dog aggression. But when he smelled/saw the needle he ran to the corner of the room with his head down and tail between his legs. I broke down even more, the first time I broke down was when he licked me. He never licked anyone, just wasnt his thing. My SO and I had to bring him over to the vet and he allowed me to hold him so he relaxed and went on my arms.
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Old 01-31-2012, 11:50 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Yes - that poor actor must have had some other major problems, to put the dog down rather than try to rehome it or move. A stable person doesn't think like that.. a stable person at the very least would have taken the dog to a shelter, I think.
Some people do not trust others with their beloved pets and with good reason, stable or not.

While it may seem selfish to some I have known someone who watched a relative do terrible things to their late mother's dog after she died in an accident(the dog was injured in the accident as well).
The family couldn't and wouldn't handle the barking so perpetually used a shock collar on it- their mother's beloved dog.
I would rather my dog have been humanely euth'd than to not only lose its owner but to be tortured by clueless idiots.
I wonder what she would have thought to see her dog treated the way it was inthe wake of her death.
At least in knowing for certain there would be no chance of such a scenario one would have piece of mind the animals was always loved in life and death.

That man simply couldn't trust that his dog would fall into the miniscule population of knowledgeable people who would do well by his dog, and I don't blame him.
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Old 02-01-2012, 01:06 AM   #21 (permalink)
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I didn't read any of the other responses here, but I was talking about this issue with my mom the other day, just because it was all over the news.

Her first instinct was to say "Survivor's guilt is an interesting thing. If you feel like you've completely betrayed your best friend, and if you didn't do everything you could to save them but put them to sleep anyway, you might feel it was your only option."

My first instinct was to say he should have tried harder. He should have moved, should have found a friend, a rescue, a shelter, something- there are always options. Even if it seems impossible, if the dog is not aggressive and has no known bad history, there is a possibility. A hope. Maybe he did try hard and maybe that's why he killed himself - but imo if he had tried harder, he wouldn't have felt such an immense guilt that he felt the need to take his own life. Or there was something else going on entirely and having to put his dog to sleep was just the last straw in an otherwise chaotic life.

We honestly won't ever know.. but it's a very sad, sad situation for that man and his family. I didn't read the other links either, so my comments are based on the soap actor and his dog Rocco. I'll go back and read the others now.
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Old 02-02-2012, 09:36 AM   #22 (permalink)
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I read all the stories and felt saddened by them all. Guilt whether deserved or not is a terrible burden some folk cannot live with, the same goes for loss. When my Boxer had to be put down I felt an overwhelming sense of guilt, I kept telling myself I should have known she had a tumour, I should have seen the signs, I should have done something before it was too late. But the reality of it is, is she went from normal to shaking violently within 2 days, it was that sudden. Yes she had been a bit niggly a couple of weeks before, but she was due to start her season and she always got cranky around that time so I put it down to that, I just didnt know she had a tumour. But that doesnt stop me feeling guilty. Guilty I let her down. Now whether the actor did all he could to rehome himself or the dog is something only those close to him can possibly say. Thing is, in my opinion he shouldnt have had too. It is one thing to say 'from this date forward no new/or incumbent tenant shall bring into this building this or that type of dog, whilst any dog already living in the building may live out its life from this date forward it must not be replaced' but to suddenly say to those that have lived there for x amount of time must be removed is outrageous.
As for the animal control. Okay the woman was a little eccentric, her dogs may not have lived in the best of conditions, SO REQUIRE HER TO SHAPE UP, and do follow up checks to make sure she does, dont just go in and take the dogs away, are they living in better conditions now? Most shelters are overcrowded, stink of ammonia and cannot hope to find homes for all of their inmates no matter how hard they try. Now if the animals the officer took away were not being harmed, were not in danger or suffering couldnt she have simply given the woman a warning, told her, shape up or I will take the dogs away. And what is this about failing to get the dogs neutered, is that a law in the US. All dogs must be neutered. All cats done too. Wow, the land of the free isn't so free anymore. Don't get me wrong, I believe in neutering, but who gets to say, this dog can remain entire and this one can't? Sticky question.
Regards the indian couple, how sad that they couldnt help each other through their grief.
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Old 02-02-2012, 06:59 PM   #23 (permalink)
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It's been almost 6 months since I lost my Petey and I'm still having bad days. I have a large family, with 4 sons, a great hubby,a large circle of friends and family for support. They all know how much I loved my big red boy, and all have been wonderful to me. I imagine that for people who don't have other people in their lives that love and care for them, it must be unbearable when they lose their beloved dog.
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Old 02-02-2012, 09:14 PM   #24 (permalink)
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My goodness I hope sadness and depression would never lead any of us to that disparaging moment. I can see and understand how some of us look at these Dobermans as our children and our very best friend. Look how we dress them, photograph them, feed them and just dot on them. I think many of us, especially me, lose sight of the fact they are a dog. I personally cannot think of a news story that effects and saddens me more than a mistreated dog, especially a Doberman.

I have lots of friends with loads of support--but my red girl has to be one of my best, most loyal friends. She can be on the North Forty and when she hears my voice stops and races to me--just almost without exception. Beyond any doubt I know she would stand between me and a bullet. I cannot imagine being without Joe, but when it comes to Charley Girl...she really is my baby girl. Crazy and dramatic I know.
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Old 02-02-2012, 09:24 PM   #25 (permalink)
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In a lot of cases the grief isn't so very different than the loss of a human relative. It's not a case of pick up and move on for everyone.
This actually would be the case for me. I wouldn't be driven to suicide, because of the pets and family that I would be leaving behind if I killed myself. But, I certainly do not take my pets' deaths well.

I cry like an idiot every time I read about someone else's pet dying because I think, "What if it were Kaiser?"

Then again, I'm kind of a cry baby.
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