Father, daughter face charges of faking health certificates for puppies

Published 12:00 am Thursday, February 21, 2013

SALISBURY — The father-daughter team that own a Rowan County kennel specializing in rare dog breeds and wolf hybrids face 18 counts of faking health certificates for puppies.
The Rowan County Sheriff’s Office said Kevin and Danielle Settineri, who own Right Puppy Kennel on Old Union Church Road near Interstate 85, shipped puppies with falsified health certificates to customers in other states.
Warrants have been issued for the arrest of Kevin Settineri. Sheriff’s deputies attempted to serve the warrants Wednesday but could not locate him. The search continued Wednesday evening, authorities said.
Settineri is charged with 13 counts of obtaining property by false pretense.
His 17-year-old daughter, Danielle Nicole Settineri, was arrested Wednesday morning, posted $2,000 bond and was released from the Rowan County Detention Center. Two new charges against her of obtaining property by false pretense were added to three charges from Feb. 9.
When contacted by the Post, Danielle Settineri said she had no comment. Kevin Settineri could not be reached by the Post.
According to the kennel’s website, Right Puppy sells wolf hybrids and two rare breeds of dog, Shiba Inu and American Tamaskan. The kennel remains open.
The sheriff’s office said the kennel obtained a legitimate certificate of health examination for one dog and then altered it for several others. 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, Detective Christine Wood told the Post after the initial charges against Danielle Settineri. But upon examination of the dog, the vet determined the animal was a wolf hybrid, which Wood said 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.
Numerous people who say they bought a dog from Right Puppy have contacted the Post with complaints about the kennel. Several said their dogs arrived sick or malnourished. Some said they suspect their puppy’s health certificate was altered and have contacted local authorities.
Contact reporter Emily Ford at 704-797-4264.