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No dog left behind

Jeni Mather (top), founder and director of Blue Dog Shelter, stands in one of the many outdoor play areas at her facility. Blueberry, a pit bull (middle), was rescued by the shelter in July 2012. Malicha Cronshaw (bottom left) assists Tex and Sakari with frozen yogurt treats during an outing, and Mikey, a boxer/pit bull mix, sits by a mural of Blue, the dog that gave the shelter its name.
Jeni Mather (top), founder and director of Blue Dog Shelter, stands in one of the many outdoor play areas at her facility. Blueberry, a pit bull (middle), was rescued by the shelter in July 2012. Malicha Cronshaw (bottom left) assists Tex and Sakari with frozen yogurt treats during an outing, and Mikey, a boxer/pit bull mix, sits by a mural of Blue, the dog that gave the shelter its name.Photos by George Rizer for The Boston Globe

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At a small building in Brockton swarming with dogs inside and out, the once-controversial “no-kill’’ shelter movement has taken root, part of the transformation in the treatment of unwanted animals in Massachusetts and across the country.

The Blue Dog Shelter, a nonprofit animal shelter, does not euthanize its dogs, unless they are gravely ill or their aggressive behavior cannot be changed. The shelter operator said she tries to get all its dogs adopted; one has even stayed for years.

Blue Dog is a small part of the “no kill” movement, which started as a reaction to common shelter practices years ago, when large numbers of saveable, adoptable animals were euthanized by shelters, often after a short time, for space reasons.

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