Comedian Joe Gatto and his family suffered a heartbreaking loss last week. Cotta, one of the many dogs he shared with estranged wife Bessy Gatto, died. She was the second dog the family lost this month. On New Year's Eve, Gatto announced plans to leave Impractical Jokers to focus on his family after separating from Bessy.
"It is with a heavy heart that we announce the passing of Cotta," the Gattos wrote on an Instagram page they set up to share photos of their dogs. "She was a sweetheart who loved cuddling and taking naps. As heartbroken as we are to lose her, we have comfort knowing this sweet angel has been reunited with her bonded sister Panna." The Gattos included a photo of Cotta and another of Gatto holding her.
Hundreds of fans offered their condolences. "So sorry! sending love and hugs," one fan wrote. "Bless you for taking in senior pups and giving these babies the best last moments of their lives," another commented. "So sorry, Joe. Thank you for her happily-ever-after," another wrote.
The Gattos adopted Cotta and her "sister" Panna back in September 2020. The couple advocated for adopting senior dogs and noted that both adorable dogs were found abandoned on the streets. They adopted both dogs from Animal Haven.
Back on Jan. 7, Bessy shared photos of Pesto, another senior dog they adopted who passed away this month. "Our little Pesto has gone to doggy heaven, but will always be remembered by us, and his bonded sister Gnocchi," Bessy wrote. "We have loved all the snuggles and kisses he gave us. Senior dog adoption is heartbreaking but so so rewarding."
Gatto, 45, announced he was leaving Impractical Jokers to focus on his family amid his split from Bessy on New Year's Eve. The former couple had been married since 2013 and are parents to daughter Milana, 6, and son Remo, 4. Gatto and Bessy "decided to amicably part ways, so now I need to focus on being the best father and co-parent to our two incredible kids," the comedian wrote on Instagram.
Gatto co-founded The Tenderloins comedy troupe with his Impractical Jokers co-stars, Brian Quinn, Sal Vulcano, and James Murray. The series launched in 2011 and the first season without Gatto is now in development. Impractical Jokers airs on TruTV and is available to stream on HBO Max. While Gatto will not be appearing on the show, he began a stand-up tour last week. He has shows scheduled through the end of May.