Authorities charge kennel owner, daughter with faking documents

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, February 20, 2013

SALISBURY — Warrants have been issued for the arrest of Kevin Settineri, who runs a Rowan County kennel specializing in rare dog breeds.
Settineri and his 17-year-old daughter, Danielle Nicole Settineri, who was arrested Wednesday morning, face charges that they faked health certificates for puppies.
The Rowan County Sheriff’s Office said the Settineris, who runs the Right Puppy Kennel on Old Union Church Road near Interstate 85, shipped puppies with falsified health certificates to customers.
Kevin Settineri is charged with nine counts of obtaining property by false pretense. Authorities said they were searching for him Wednesday afternoon.
Danielle Settineri is charged with a total of five counts of obtaining property by false pretense, including two charges Wednesday and three on Feb. 9. She posted $2,000 bond and was released from the Rowan County Detention Center.
According to the kennel’s website, Right Puppy sells wolf hybrids and two rare breeds of dog, Shiba Inu and American Tamaskan.
The kennel obtained a legitimate certificate of health examination for one dog and then altered it for several others, the sheriff’s office said. Health certificates are required for shipping animals by air.
Some of the fake certificates list veterinary hospitals in Lenoir and Mooresville.
When the veterinarians in Lenoir and Mooresville received calls from out-of-state vets questioning the health certificates of Right Puppy Kennel dogs, the North Carolina vets reported the incidents to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the sheriff’s office said.
In one case, a customer in Illinois purchased what he thought was a husky mix from Right Puppy, the sheriff’s office said. But when a vet examined the dog, the vet determined the animal was a wolf hybrid, which is illegal in Illinois.
State health officials have been involved in the investigation, which is ongoing.
The Better Business Bureau website gives Right Puppy Kennel an “F” and lists 10 complaints against the business in the last three years.
Read more in Thursday’s Post.

Contact reporter Emily Ford at 704-797-4264.