Dogs sold from local kennel making people sick?

SALISBURY, NC (WBTV) - A Rowan County man and his daughter who operate a kennel that specializes in selling a particular breed of dogs are facing more charges for faking the dog's certificates of health.

17-year-old Danielle Settineri was booked just after 11 a.m. Wednesday on two new counts of obtaining property by false pretenses. She was released on bond a short time later.

Arrest warrants have also been issued for her father, Kevin Settineri on nine counts of obtaining property by false pretense.

The Right Puppy kennel near Salisbury advertises Wolf Hybrid and other dogs, but the sheriff says customers aren't getting what they pay for, and what are they are getting could make them sick.

The sheriff says the father and daughter got a valid health certificate for one dog, then altered the paperwork and used it for other dogs, one of which turned up sick at a Florida vet's office. The sheriff is asking if whatever made the dog sick could do the same thing to humans.

"Why do you forge a health document on an animal unless there is a health issue?" Sheriff Kevin Auten asked in an interview with WBTV on Tuesday.

Warrants have been issued for the arrest of Kevin Settineri for nine counts of obtaining property by false pretense. His teen-aged daughter Danielle is facing two counts in addition to the three charges brought against her two weeks ago.

The kennel is located off Old Union Church Road near I-85 in Rowan County.

According to the sheriff, the father and daughter obtained a valid health certificate for one dog, then changed the document when customers bought other puppies from the Right Puppy web site. The certificates are used for shipping the dogs by air. The allegations came to light when one of the dogs sold to a customer in Florida became sick, according to investigators. And there are certain parasitic diseases that are called "zoonotic," that can be shared between animals and humans.

"What's wrong with these animals to falsify these documents or appear to have falsified them, then you've got health risks with the animals and the humans that come into contact with these animals, you worry about that," Sheriff Auten added.

The Better Business Bureau website gives Right Puppy Kennel an "F" and lists 10 complaints against the business in the last three years. Consumer group sites, Google, and Facebook searches all turned up complaints against Right Puppy, though the company's own web site has several testimonials from satisfied customers.

Even so, the sheriff says more charges could be coming.

"I don't think this case will be over anytime soon."

WBTV tried to contact both Kevin and Danielle Settineri by phone and email. Danielle replied to simply say "do not contact me regarding this."

Of the 10 complaints filed with the Better Business Bureau about Right Puppy, five dealt with the company's advertising practices and five dealt with problems with the product.

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