Millville man killed himself over death of his beloved dog

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In Millville, New Jersey, a 35-year-old man was so devastated over the death of his dog, he killed himself on Thursday outside of the veterinary hospital.

According to the Daily Journal, Robert Zapar and his Rottweiler named Peyton, had been inseparable. In December the ten-year-old dog died. Peyton had been scheduled for surgery on his spleen when he seemed to have miraculously recovered. Zapar cancelled the surgery, but the dog relapsed and died in Zapar’s arms outside of the animal hospital where he was rushed.

Detective Lt. Ross Hoffman stated Zapar shot himself in his pickup truck in the parking lot after delivering a four-page note to the veterinarian. The letter detailed the man’s grief over his dog’s death.

In 2009 Zapar suffered a near fatal motorcycle accident which resulted in head injuries. He had been in a coma for weeks and endured a long rehabilitation.

Rest in peace Robert and Peyton.

(Photo of Millville man screenshot via

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15 replies
  1. Darla G says:

    I completely understand why this young man killed himself. No doubt, he felt extreme guilt over the decision to cancel Peyton’s surgery and was consumed with the idea that he in fact was the reason his dog died. When my Buddy passed away, I didn’t care if I lived or died. I would not have killed myself because I had another dog to take care of but if I had been in a fatal car accident or something of that nature, I wouldn’t have cared because it meant I would have been with my beloved Buddy. RIP Robert and Peyton – you are now together forever. My sympathy to Robert’s family.

    • Bunny Peters says:

      I understand completely how this man felt (& why he killed himself)…… After our precious treasure MacKitty died in July, I wished I would die so I could be with him….. my husband helped me recover (a) deal with losing MacKitty & (b) heal from serious illness that I had whilst caring for MacKitty during his fight with liver cancer……
      Dealing with the death of a beloved family member is much more difficult than healing from a serious illness……
      May be they both RIP together for eternity……..

    • Slade says:

      You are right on target, Darla: bereavement or guilt are bad enough alone; combine the two and it’s a recipe for suicide. So very sad for Robert’s family. At least Payton didn’t have to wait long at the Bridge for Robert.

  2. pennysdachshunds says:

    So very Sad! I am sure this loving, compassionate individual felt guilt because he cancelled the apparent much needed surgery… May they walk together for Eternity !!!

    • Mark says:

      pennysdachsunds I agree. He felt more guilt that he may have been able to save Peyton’s life the first time. RIP Robert and Peyton.

  3. Barkley's Mom says:

    How devastated Robert Zapar must have been when he lost Peyton, his family must be heartbroken. May both Robert and Peyton rest in peace.

  4. Nancy Raymond says:

    My heart breaks for Robert – his devastation must have been overwhelming by the loss of Peyton – May they rest together – I’m sure that is what Robert would want. Losing a pet to animal lovers is like losing a child.

  5. Star Shelley says:

    I am sad over this death of this young man and his little companion. What a loving heat he had. RIP to both.

  6. susispot says:

    In my 7 decades on Earth I have loved and lost numerous animal friends. I honor those lost to old age or illness by making a home for another in need of love/kindness. I wish this young man had not felt so hopeless. He had a huge heart and many could have benefited from it. RIP

  7. carrie ainsley says:

    I also feel bad for the vet. Having a client kill himself in the parking lot of his business is just horrible.

  8. PAMELA D says:

    I am so sadden to hear terrible news like this. What a wonderful owner who loved his dog Payton so much. RIP is all I can say and I know his family really misses Robbie and Payton. I wish he would have allowed the dog to have the surgery and didn’t cancel and possibly both would still be here. Very sad.


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