Consumer Reviews and Complaints
We have always had a soft spot for Golden Retrievers. Our first experience with a Golden was wonderful! We got Sydney from a breeder close by our home in Ontario and he lived to be almost 15, with no health issues. Consequently, when it was time for our next Golden, we neglected to research Gold Rush Golden Retrievers to determine if their bloodlines were healthy. Hogan was shipped to Canada and was definitely a uniquely beautiful dog (nothing compares to this beauty in our area).
Hogan was also the most loving, devoted and friendly dog imaginable. There is certainly no dispute about the incredible beauty and temperament of Gold Rush Dogs. The problem lies deeper than the exterior traits. As mentioned in prior posts, our puppy did arrive with worms and worm medication and went through a second bout of worms before he was clear. At age 2, he began to suffer from hot spots, terrible seizures and at age 5, a cough that vets treated with **. Poor Hogan was never quite himself after starting the ** and at age 8 1/2 died of lung cancer. I am not posting to criticize Gold Rush Goldens, or even to recommend that they be avoided, but after learning of the growing number of dissatisfied clients felt I should share my experience. We have learned from our impulsive purchase and will do a better job of researching breeders for our next Golden.
I have had 3 of THE most wonderful Goldens from Gold-Rush & in 3 weeks will be picking up my fourth at the age of 8 weeks. My three all lived beautifully & healthily for 12 years. No hip problems, no cancer, just pure joy, energy, devotion, laughter & love. All three sites at Gold-Rush are scrupulously clean, all dogs well groomed, clean & happy. I spent the better part of the day there every time I visit and have never seen or even poop--with 30 dogs spread across the three locations.
Their new whelping facility is meticulous, clean, attractive & beautiful. Several All tiled, with floor drains, ample water sources, bathing sink waist high, fans, a/c, heat for winter, cabinetry, fencing perfect, lots of clean green grass with happy Goldens running around... I know this facility well since 2005 and it is run with passion, dedication & love of the breed, meticulousness and integrity.
We visited Gold-Rush to see new puppy litter. There were 2 litters - both around 6 weeks old at the time. IT was a cold March day and the puppies were inside a cold barn all crammed into a tight cage, open at the bottom for excrement to fall through. I witnessed Amy, the woman who represented the breeder, switching around the collars of the puppies. The collars were color coded to represent what buyers had dibs on what puppy. Pretty dishonest. I found the conditions cold dirty & cramped for the puppies. The puppies had no interaction with their mother.
I have a friend who has purchased 2 puppies from this breeder - BOTH DOGS ENDED UP WITH CANCER BY AGE 6. I just found out about the second one today so I am so upset (thus prompting me to write this review). I inquired with my Vet, a very reputable vet in the NJ area, and he told me the Gold-Rush Kennels are notorious for having cancer. He has seen many of their dogs diagnosed with cancer at a young age. Gold-Rush should be ashamed of themselves for continuing to breed these dogs knowing full well that these dogs have malignancies. There are not many, but there are some reputable Golden breeders in NJ. I would recommend anyone interested in this breed to do their homework before buying. And absolutely do not buy a puppy from Gold-Rush.
Beware of sanitation at Goldrush Kennels! We recently purchased a golden retriever puppy there. Four days later he was in the emergency room at the vet. After testing the vet stated the puppy had the worst case of Coccidiosis she had ever seen! This is a parasitic infection contracted from feces and soil. Our vet, AND TWO OTHER VETS, INDEPENDENTLY stated our puppy left Goldrush Kennels with a substantial case of Coddidiosis. Due to the high levels of the parasite detected upon examination, we were in fear of our new puppy dying or having some type of permanent medical issue. Fortunately, after several days in the hospital and several thousands of dollars' worth of medical procedures (including a protein transfusion due to bloody, watery stools) we were able to take him home where he continued treatment.
We contacted Amy at Goldrush Kennels only to be met with belligerence! She stated the puppy left there with medicine for the disease (obviously they were aware of the problem and acted like this is normal) and stated this was all our fault for over stressing the puppy. The puppy was delivered to us by a third party and we were not aware of medicine in his info packet to help with the parasites. That call was followed with a letter from their attorney stating they have no further obligation with the puppy or his care. "Are they used to this scenario?" was the first thought that came to my mind. I would caution the potential customer to check out the sanitation and be prepared to deal with their aloofness!
I have had 6 Gold Rush Golden Retrievers since 1995 to the present. Four of them have died. All of them were over twelve years old. The oldest one was 13 years and 7 months old. Two of them had hemangiosarcoma of the spleen, one had lymphoma and one had liver cancer. And no one has had any hip or other health issues. It has been heartbreaking to have so many of my babies die but my 6 experiences with Ann Johnson have been flawless. Her dogs are beautiful and have wonderful temperaments.
I have also been a pet sitter for 24 years and many of my clients have been Golden Retrievers. None of them were Gold Rush and many of them died much before they turned 12 like my dogs and they all died of cancer. I think I'm unique in that. I've had 6 of Ann's dogs and the dogs have lived longer than many other Goldens from other breeders. I currently have 2 Goldens and one is 11 years old and my other one is 9 years old. Will they die of cancer? Probably. But that won't ever stop me from sharing my life with these amazing dogs. As Rudyard Kipling said, "My brothers and sisters I bid you beware of giving your heart to a dog to tear." Sadly it is an inevitable part of loving a dog.
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I was assured that the litter of Gold Rush pups had excellent hips and legs. 4 years on, the dog started to exhibit failure in getting up. In his 6th yr. it was very difficult for him to stand. At 9 I had to get expensive doggy cart to support his back so he could walk. He lived till his 13th birthday, had a heart attack. My complaint is even though he lived a long 13 yrs., more than half of it he was in extreme pain and could walk on his own. He was on pain killers and anti inflammation tabs, which took the edge off his pain, but he had less than 4 years of quality life. And I spent thousands with the vets in trying to help him walk painlessly. I paid $850.00 for him and about another 4000 without food.
I was led along with false promises about the dog's sire and bitch's health. I loved that dog and did everything I could to medically help him, but I felt I was snookered by this couple who knew what they were selling, 'a heartache' for money. These people should not be permitted to sell any more dogs and commit fraud on the general public. I have the akc BLOODLINE THAT THEY WERE USING. It hurts to the heart to watch your best friend go through such long and painful hardships. DO NOT BUY FROM THESE PEOPLE, THEY ARE A BAIT AND SWITCH ACT.
In 2006 I purchased a beautiful Gold Rush Golden. Papers indicated "good" hip rating. The truth? My dog was born with severe hip dysplasia as well as numerous herniated discs. By the age of 7 the chronic herniated discs had fused to her spine. What sort of breeder would do this? This breeder falsified records and has only one goal in mind - Best in Show.
Having had two English Creme Goldens from Gold Rush, they are living long lives. Unfortunately those on this forum expect perfect animals and that is NOT life. Dog breeding has developed into expectations of perfection through "certifications" that somehow lull people into believing that they will get a perfect pup that will not have any health issues, ever. There have been attempts to do this with humans. It is called cloning and has all but been outlawed and shunned due to the (what should be) obvious moral issues. People, and animals, are NOT perfect people. They get sick. Yes, there are those that inbreed and cause most of the problems, but guess what, most of these are those "certified" dogs and have extensive inbreeding because they only want to breed those "perfect" dogs, to get "more perfect" dogs. People need to STOP expecting perfection for their pets. ENJOY them, in sickness and in health, whether for a few months, or 20 years.
We had a similar issue with Gold Rush. We purchased a great dog in 1997 from Gold Rush. Riley was beautiful and smart. When he was 5 years old, he suddenly became very ill within a matter of days. He also had cancer and died suddenly. When I contacted Gold Rush, they disclaimed other similar issues. However, I have spoken to many individuals in New Jersey that have gone through similar issues. I would never purchase another dog from Gold Rush. I have actually been in contact with breeders on the West Coast so that I can avoid any involvement with Gold Rush.
We have purchased two dogs from Gold Rush Kennels. The first puppy was a wonderful female, who lived a long and healthy life. At the time of the first purchase, Ann Johnson Sr. was CEO of the business, and she bred only for the betterment of the breed. She tried her best to breed out diseases. She was also a very discerning owner as she would interview for hours while the prospective buyers played with her puppies. When our female golden passed, we decided to buy another puppy and since the Gold Rush Kennel had a good reputation, we thought why not buy there again.
But when we got our puppy, he was not actually bred at Gold Rush. Yes, he was from a champion blood line but there was no guarantee of his hips (just elbow). Our golden is now 4 and 1/2 years old and he has stage III Lymphoma. We are heart-broken because we can't afford the expensive treatment on a fixed income. The current owner of Gold Rush is Robin Ann Johnson, who signs all documents as R. Ann Johnson. This daughter is selling puppies bred from states all over the country. Again champion lines, but not combed through for potential diseases. I believe the new owner sells pups on the heels of her mother's reputation. This is just my opinion but seeing your 4-year old dog dying of cancer is heart breaking.
On August 9, 2001 we purchased two golden retriever puppies from the above-mentioned breeder. At the time of this sales transaction we requested and received an OFA (Orthopedic Foundation for Animals) report for both parents which read as "good".
However, when these puppies were only 8 months of age, they were both diagnosed as having severe hip dysplasia with significant arthritis already present as per a board certified orthopedic surgeon in Plainview, New York. Upon this diagnosis we personally contacted the gentlemen that signed the OFA report to find out that indeed the mother's report had apparently been changed from "fair" to "good" on the copy provided to us. The breeder denies knowledge of this forgery.
As per the puppy lemon law this breeder has offered us the purchase price back if we return the puppies to her to be eunthanized -- we do not entertain this option as we love these puppies dearly. However, if the breeder had been honest at the time of the sale, we never would have purchased them in the first place. There were a total of 12 puppies in this litter which means that most probably there are other sick puppies as a result of her negligence and consumer fraud!
According to the findings of the orthopedic surgeon, these two puppies will most definetly require total hip replacement surgery by about age two years. The cost of these combined surgeries will be in excess of $16K.
Gold-Rush Kennels Company Profile
- Company Name:
- Gold-Rush Kennels
- Formerly Named:
- Gold Rush Kennels