By Katie Brace

GROVELAND (CBS) – More than 20 golden retrievers have a new “leash” on life. The puppies and their parents were saved from deplorable conditions in Millis.

“Are you ready? Are you ready,” said one of the animal rescuers as he got a dog out of the van.

They took in smells and walked on leashes for the first time. All of the golden retrievers used to have one purpose – breeding. The 11 girls, 3 boys and a litter of puppies arrived at Sweet Paws Rescue in Groveland Wednesday evening.

Golden retrievers rescued from Millis breeder (WBZ-TV)

The dogs are part of an animal cruelty case against a breeder in Millis.

The Norfolk County District Attorney’s office said Linda Pernice, of Millis, was charged with four counts of animal cruelty on April 19th. She entered a plea of not guilty in Wrentham District Court.

Pernice was released on $100 cash bail and the judge set several bail conditions. Pernice had to surrender all her animals. She is also not allowed to keep, acquire or breed any animals.

Her next court appearance is May 31st.

Golden retrievers rescued from Millis breeder (WBZ-TV)

Although they look really cute, the rescue says the puppies may have genetic issues. The dogs were interbred, and the goldens have at the very least a history of eye issues.

“People will buy these puppies unknowing they will have to spend thousands of dollars down the road on genetic issues,” said Cynthia Sweet of Sweet Paws Rescue.

The Massey family had to see the rescued dogs. They adopted twice from the breeder. The second time left them heartbroken.

“She had some socialization issues and most horribly was she died when she was 8 years old of an aggressive nasal carcinoma,” said Beth Massey of Newyburyport.

Goldens are naturally sweet, but these will have to undergo socialization testing. These guys have had no contact with people.

The pack spent two weeks at a kennel with grooming to look this good. They will head to foster homes and also undergo eye exams before they are up for adoption.

“I am very happy,” said Massey.

The Masseys cannot stop smiling knowing the retrievers will soon live their golden years with loving families.

Comments (5)
  1. Cathy Tucker Reddington says:

    this article would be more helpful if the name of the actual breeder were mentioned.

    1. Charlene St John Devens says:

      Linda Pernice is the breeder

  2. Such lies from the “rescue”! The adult dogs have seen Veterinarians, have hip, elbow, eye and other clearances that they are not affected by common genetic disorders. Shame on the news for pushing such biased, anti-breeder propaganda and promoting a rescue just in it for all the publicity and donations they can profit from themselves! There are NO photos showing how bad the dogs are. Some were being boarded at the breeder’s request and were well taken care as EVERY photo and video shows! Illegal seizure after 17 years of harassment!

  3. majorasue says:

    “Rescued”? More like stolen from their owner with an eye to quick and easy money for Sweet Paws. These dogs have obviously been well socialized and taken care of. Shame on you for such a biased story. What ever happened to innocent until proven guilty?

  4. Pat Floss says:

    This could be a smear job. What were the “deplorable conditions”? in which the dogs were kept. I noticed that no mention of made of how many dogs resided at Linda Pernice’s property – if she boards dogs, 20 would not necessarily be too large a number; nor would it be if she had other family members and/or employees helping to care for the dogs.

    How does the reporter know that this is the first time the dogs have walked on leashes and taken in smells? Also, most dogs enthusiastically take in smells when they walk outside of their normal environment; that’s no indicator of abuse. Dogs living with their breeder might spend a lot of time in safely fenced enclosures (kennel runs and grassy surfaces/lawns) and thus not need to be leashed except to go to the vet. Young puppies who are not ready to go to new homes are normally not leashed unless the breeders are trying to introduce them individually to leash-training.

    What does “interbred” mean (“the dogs were interbred”)? Dogs are bred to other dogs to produce puppies so the world can continue to enjoy Golden Retrievers and other breeds. The most common method of breeding among breeders is probably linebreeding; which is the breeding of two related dogs, such as cousins or half-uncle to niece or a more distant connection. Outcrosses are often employed to freshen pedigrees. Inbreeding is done occasionally and, among responsible breeders, very carefully.

    As for the supposed genetic issues; well, most dogs have at least some genetic issues. Golden Retrievers are quite cancer-prone and it would not be very unusual, though it is tragic, for even the most carefully bred and raised Golden, to pass away from a type of cancer at the age of eight. (that can happen in other breeds, even breeds that usually live longer than Goldens, even when breeders try their best to produce healthy dogs; it’s called bad luck) I don’t know whether this breeder was actually guilty of cruelty to animals or not; but this is a rather poorly written article presenting suspicions rather than facts.

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