Abused Dogs Deemed 'Too Aggressive' for Adoption find Second Chance with Rehabilitator

Sadie and Blue celebrated their freedom yesterday with a romp in the grass. The lucky dogs may not know it, but three weeks ago they narrowly escaped death after a Massachusetts shelter labeled them too vicious for adoption. Public outcry put that death order on hold, but in actuality, it was one woman’s dedication that eventually saved them.

Just days after their rescue from an abusive situation earlier this month, officials said a behavior evaluation suggested that the dogs would harm anyone who adopted them. Concerned dog lovers were up in arms over the hasty decision, and their messages of protest eventually reached Jeni Mather, who is now caring for and rehabilitating the dogs the Blue Dog Shelter in Brockton.

Mather says the dogs just needed a chance. She and her staff spent the past two weeks visiting them at the Brockton Animal Control shelter three times each day. They were terrified from their ordeal, and would flatten themselves and bark whenever someone approached their cages.

Mather and her employees knew that love and patience would be required to help the frightened animals understand that they were safe, so they formed a plan to gradually bring the dogs around, and it worked wonders. During their visits, they offered treats to the dogs through their cages, being careful not to encroach on their space or make them feel threatened in any way.

After a slow start, the dogs caught on. Mather said taking Blue out of his cage was heartbreaking at first.

Mather receives thank you kisses from Sadie and Blue. photo: Marc Vasconcellos/Enterprise News

“When we would take a step forward, he would hit the deck,” Mather said in an interview with Enterprise News. “He would just absolutely thrust himself on the ground and close his eyes.”

But after a week of visits with treats and cheeseburgers, Mather was finally able to earn Blue’s trust. Once he was comfortable on a leash, she pulled him from the shelter. Sadie, transformed by a week of visits from a steady stream of treat-wielding volunteers, joined them.

Mather said this is a classic example of what a little love and care can do for an animal who has never known human kindness. She believes it could take as long as 10 months to rehabilitate the dogs, but she’s committed to making them whole and finding them forever homes.

“It’s been hours and hours and days and days of work,” Mather said. “They have come a long way, they really have.”







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130 comments

  • July 27, 2012 4:47 pmPosted 2 years ago
    Denise

    shared !

    Reply
  • July 27, 2012 4:47 pmPosted 2 years ago
    Linda

    I love this kind of happy ending <3

    Reply
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    July 27, 2012 4:48 pmPosted 2 years ago
    Kristine

    =(

    Reply
  • July 27, 2012 4:48 pmPosted 2 years ago
    Candace

    thank u

    Reply
  • July 27, 2012 4:48 pmPosted 2 years ago
    Lisa

    God bless her <3

    Reply
  • July 27, 2012 4:49 pmPosted 2 years ago
    Polly

    Isn’t it sad that ignorant humans so frequently mistake a dog’s fear for aggression? Yea, Jeni Mather and the Blue Dog Shelter in Brockton!!

    Reply
  • July 27, 2012 4:49 pmPosted 2 years ago
    Ashley

    That’s all it takes…is a little time. Working with shelter babies is just so rewarding (:

    Reply
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    July 27, 2012 4:50 pmPosted 2 years ago
    Toni

    What an ANGEL

    Reply
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    July 27, 2012 4:50 pmPosted 2 years ago
    Kerry

    Wonderful! Some dogs just need space after such a major transition. And some just need space, period. Doesn’t make them a menace… So glad she saw this and gave the dogs the love they needed, when they needed it.

    Reply
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    July 27, 2012 4:50 pmPosted 2 years ago
    Julie

    Fabulous! Thank you Jeni and His bless you. We need more like you….

    Reply
  • July 27, 2012 4:50 pmPosted 2 years ago
    Denise

    God bless you over and over Jeni Mather! You are an angel among humans <3

    Reply
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    July 27, 2012 4:50 pmPosted 2 years ago
    Julie

    *God bless you

    Reply
  • July 27, 2012 4:51 pmPosted 2 years ago
    Georgette

    Dog bless you! Bless you all!!!

    Reply
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    July 27, 2012 4:51 pmPosted 2 years ago
    Joy

    If only the cities of Belfast and Montreal allowed the same Lennox and Wicca would be alive today. Kudos to Jeni and the City who at least allowed the Rehabilitator to visit and help them.

    Reply
  • July 27, 2012 4:51 pmPosted 2 years ago
    Cinzia

    :-) !

    Reply
  • July 27, 2012 4:51 pmPosted 2 years ago
    Cindy

    Yay!! Jeni is my hero! We need more people to recognize that they CAN make a difference.

    Reply
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    July 27, 2012 4:52 pmPosted 2 years ago
    Kevin

    Love it!!!

    Reply
  • July 27, 2012 4:52 pmPosted 2 years ago
    Barbara

    YOU simply ROCK, Jeni Mather!!! An ANGEL indeed! God Bless you all the days of your life for this act of kindness for these dogs!

    Reply
  • July 27, 2012 4:52 pmPosted 2 years ago
    Anna

    Thank god for people like u! :) xx

    Reply
  • July 27, 2012 4:53 pmPosted 2 years ago
    Ann-Marie

    I was almost afraid to read this after seeing the first paragraph but so glad I did. So proud of my home state, Massachusetts!! Maybe we can teach others a lesson or two (i.e. Belfast and Montreal). Wishing Sadie and Blue wonderful long lives in forever homes!

    Reply
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    July 27, 2012 4:53 pmPosted 2 years ago
    Melinda

    Now THAT’S a hero.

    Reply
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    July 27, 2012 4:53 pmPosted 2 years ago
    Sharon

    Good stuff!

    Reply
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    July 27, 2012 4:53 pmPosted 2 years ago
    Vanessa

    More Jeni Mather’s r needed in this world!! Way to Go!!

    Reply
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    July 27, 2012 4:53 pmPosted 2 years ago
    Marius Terri

    Thank you Ms Mather….you are my hero!

    Reply
  • July 27, 2012 4:54 pmPosted 2 years ago
    Paige

    Heros!!!

    Reply
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    July 27, 2012 4:54 pmPosted 2 years ago
    Andrea

    I hate when people who aren’t versed in dog handling think they know how to handle dogs , leave it to the ones that care & know ! Kudos to Jeni:))

    Reply
  • July 27, 2012 4:54 pmPosted 2 years ago
    Ann

    Thank you Jeni & Staff Love Sadie & Blue!

    Reply
  • July 27, 2012 4:55 pmPosted 2 years ago
    Anonymous

    TRIPLE LIKE!

    Reply
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    July 27, 2012 4:55 pmPosted 2 years ago
    Terri

    Thank you Jeni!!!!!!

    Reply
  • July 27, 2012 4:56 pmPosted 2 years ago
    Pahl

    Its the same with Kids. Give them a chance.

    Reply
  • July 27, 2012 4:57 pmPosted 2 years ago
    Englewolf

    God bless you Mathers and the people who work for you… this cruel world of ours needs more people like you!

    Reply
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    July 27, 2012 4:57 pmPosted 2 years ago
    Anonymous

    What The Hell is wrong with people who abuse animals who cant defend themselves … You abusers out there are COWARDS!!! Just wanna say yr a blessing to animals mather god bless u !!

    Reply
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    July 27, 2012 4:57 pmPosted 2 years ago
    Lori

    Thanks to Jeni for giviing them a chance and to Brockton Animal Control for knowing these dogs needed a chance at a great life!

    Reply
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    July 27, 2012 4:58 pmPosted 2 years ago
    Tia

    Hope it works out well for them…

    Reply
  • July 27, 2012 4:58 pmPosted 2 years ago
    Laurie

    Super.

    Reply
  • July 27, 2012 4:59 pmPosted 2 years ago
    Mark

    i despise most of the human race then someone comes along to prove there are still good people out there .thankyou for doing what you did you did a fantastic think and i for one will alway be greatfull for you trust in 2 poor dogs whos owners shound be publicly kicked to death as far as im concerned theyre nothing but human shit

    Reply
  • July 27, 2012 4:59 pmPosted 2 years ago
    Leah

    It just takes someone with patience and love. A LOT of LOVE

    Reply
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    July 27, 2012 5:00 pmPosted 2 years ago
    Gayle

    Thank you Jeni!

    Reply
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    July 27, 2012 5:00 pmPosted 2 years ago
    Pamela

    Bless you !!

    Reply
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    July 27, 2012 5:01 pmPosted 2 years ago
    Leslie

    now does this make sense, the city rescues two dogs from abusive home, and claims they are danger to society. what about the people did the abuse, those kinds of people need to be taken away, how would they feel if they were abused. dogs are not cruel and dangerous, people do it to them.

    Reply
  • July 27, 2012 5:01 pmPosted 2 years ago
    Lynn

    Thank you for helping them back into a real life, Jeni!

    Reply
  • July 27, 2012 5:02 pmPosted 2 years ago
    Stacey

    Wonderful story….. Your awesome Jeni Mather

    Reply
  • July 27, 2012 5:04 pmPosted 2 years ago
    Sherry

    Its a shame that people that work at these shelters don’t know a thing about canine body language!!! It shoud be a requirement for hire or at least send them for training.

    Reply
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      July 27, 2012 9:43 pmPosted 2 years ago
      wendy

      Jenny is one of the good one’s though.

      Reply
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    July 27, 2012 5:04 pmPosted 2 years ago
    Lynn

    Wow….always take the quick answer? Good thing they don’t make the same judgements of children coming out of “abusive homes”? People AND animals have to experience goodness that has not been a part of their lives before they learn that they CAN trust ! Thank God Jen was willing to go the extra mile!

    Reply
  • July 27, 2012 5:04 pmPosted 2 years ago
    Sherry

    Thank you Jeni Mather!!!

    Reply
  • July 27, 2012 5:05 pmPosted 2 years ago
    Edward

    Nice!

    Reply
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    July 27, 2012 5:06 pmPosted 2 years ago
    Laura

    You rock Jeni!!

    Reply
  • July 27, 2012 5:06 pmPosted 2 years ago
    Carolyn

    <3

    Reply
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    July 27, 2012 5:06 pmPosted 2 years ago
    Julie

    NO such thing as bad dogs. Only bad owners. Good thing they were saved and rehabilitated! yey! =)

    Reply
  • July 27, 2012 5:08 pmPosted 2 years ago
    Thomas

    Great job!!!

    Reply
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    July 27, 2012 5:08 pmPosted 2 years ago
    Helen

    Happy ending <3<3<3<3<3<3<3<3<3

    Reply
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    July 27, 2012 5:09 pmPosted 2 years ago
    Anna

    Bless you, Jeni Mather, for looking beneath the surface and having the patience to help these dogs. Sometimes all these poor dogs need is understanding and kindness.

    Someone should send this to all those uninformed municipal employees in Belfast, Montreal, and anywhere else the first and only choice seems to be to kill a pit bull – screw understanding. These dogs would truly be without hope were it not for people like Jeni.

    Reply
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    July 27, 2012 5:09 pmPosted 2 years ago
    Ronald

    Sad for the dogs, they didn’t ask to be the way they were, humans did that. Maybe someday the animal kingdom can forgive us

    Reply
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    July 27, 2012 5:11 pmPosted 2 years ago
    David Deborah

    Reply
  • July 27, 2012 5:11 pmPosted 2 years ago
    Tina

    Great job and your patience is wonderfful..

    Reply
  • July 27, 2012 5:11 pmPosted 2 years ago
    Josh

    Patience and love. 2 fundamental things every dog owner/ trainer should know. Thank you Jeni for showing that people can always make positive change in dogs life no matter how they are “labeled”

    Reply
  • July 27, 2012 5:12 pmPosted 2 years ago
    Karen

    Amazing! So glad the doggies got the tlc they so badly needed!

    Reply
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    July 27, 2012 5:12 pmPosted 2 years ago
    June

    A little love and caring goes a long way ! Bless you all for being there for them…

    Reply
  • July 27, 2012 5:14 pmPosted 2 years ago
    Beth-Ann

    Aahh, good ol’ Brockton. Such upstanding citizens there.

    Reply
  • July 27, 2012 5:17 pmPosted 2 years ago
    Denise

    Thank you, Massachusetts for having a heart and giving these dogs a chance! Thank you, Jen for for rescuing them! Hope both dogs find loving, forever homes.

    Reply
  • July 27, 2012 5:19 pmPosted 2 years ago
    Judy

    wonderful people !!

    Reply
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    July 27, 2012 5:19 pmPosted 2 years ago
    Dan

    Thank you Ms. Mather, for reminding me that there is still some goodness in the world. Just minutes ago, I read the story about the “breeders” in England, where conditions were so atrocious, I couldn’t even bring myself to watch the video of the puppies. Where you on the other hand, saved the lives of animals that were surely going to be put down as dangerous dogs and you intervened on their behalf and proved they just needed a chance. If there were more people like you to champion for the rights and lives of our four legged citizens, this world would be a far better place. Thanks to you and your staff for doing a great job.

    Reply
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    July 27, 2012 5:22 pmPosted 2 years ago
    Britta

    Awesome job done! !!!!!!
    That’s the way……and no other (please note that, government and officials all over the globe! !!!!!!)
    Yay and kudos to a happy ending/ beginning …..for ONCE! !!!!!
    RIP Lennox and Wicca! !!!!!!! ;(
    This world and people have gone insane……… ;(

    Reply
  • July 27, 2012 5:23 pmPosted 2 years ago
    John

    I recued my 98lb heinz 57 “Kaiser” with a neck like Vince Wilfork just 3weeks ago and bonded with in a hour. He’s a happy doggie and I wuv him

    Reply
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    July 27, 2012 5:23 pmPosted 2 years ago
    Jennie

    Most of the dogs that go into shelters are so afraid that they can act out in way that is temporary, but it gets them exterminated. Our rescue group tries to get them before they get taken into a shelter and rehabilitate them. Most of them just need to feel “safe.”

    Reply
  • July 27, 2012 5:25 pmPosted 2 years ago
    Denise

    What a angel on earth….

    Reply
  • July 27, 2012 5:27 pmPosted 2 years ago
    Tracie

    That’s all it takes for any animal, including humans. Just a little love and some patience.

    Reply
  • July 27, 2012 5:27 pmPosted 2 years ago
    Izabo

    and the lights all went out in Massachusetts!!!!!!!!!!!

    Reply
  • July 27, 2012 5:28 pmPosted 2 years ago
    Bobbye

    What a fabulous story thanks to a kind, caring lady!

    Reply
  • July 27, 2012 5:32 pmPosted 2 years ago
    Emily

    Sadly these cases are popular in Brockton :/

    Reply
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    July 27, 2012 5:34 pmPosted 2 years ago
    Cristián Eugenio

    Jeni is my favourite hero now!

    Reply
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    July 27, 2012 5:34 pmPosted 2 years ago
    Lyn

    So the dogs get sentenced to death, but the people walk? Dogs are NOT born bad, it takes people to make them that way. thankfully these 2 were saved

    Reply
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    July 27, 2012 5:35 pmPosted 2 years ago
    Cathy

    Great Jeni make the extra effort to save these dogs!

    Reply
  • July 27, 2012 5:37 pmPosted 2 years ago
    Jennifer

    This is a fantastic thing to read! I was so worried when I first learned about these two.

    Reply
  • July 27, 2012 5:38 pmPosted 2 years ago
    June

    Jeni is so, so ,so wonderful !!!!

    Reply
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    July 27, 2012 5:40 pmPosted 2 years ago
    Kathleen

    Jeni and staff of Blue Dog Shelter have been rescuing dogs for many years. Donations are needed to help care for Sadie, Blue and 19 other dogs currently in their shelter… http://www.brocktonbluedogshelter.org/

    Reply
  • July 27, 2012 5:41 pmPosted 2 years ago
    Barbara

    :)

    Reply
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    July 27, 2012 5:42 pmPosted 2 years ago
    Cynthia

    All any dog needs is some loving, patient time given to them. I wish more of my friends realized that.

    Reply
  • July 27, 2012 5:43 pmPosted 2 years ago
    Nicole

    great story about giving animals a reason to have faith in humans

    Reply
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    July 27, 2012 5:47 pmPosted 2 years ago
    Karmen

    This happens ALL the time, just watch animal cops and you’ll see. There was one episode where hundreds of pitbulls were recued from pitbull fighting and they euthinized every last one of them with out even seeing if they were aggresive.

    Reply
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    July 27, 2012 5:50 pmPosted 2 years ago
    David

    Those look like great slober kisses! Thank you for saving them!

    Reply
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    July 27, 2012 5:50 pmPosted 2 years ago
    Afrienda

    We need more people willing to step up and help the dogs who aren’t perfect but with a little kindness can be good dogs!

    Reply
  • July 27, 2012 5:51 pmPosted 2 years ago
    Charles

    God bless u Jeni

    Reply
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    July 27, 2012 5:51 pmPosted 2 years ago
    Chris

    Great save :-)

    Reply
  • July 27, 2012 5:53 pmPosted 2 years ago
    Tammy Bower

    You are angel. God bless you.

    Reply
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    July 27, 2012 5:55 pmPosted 2 years ago
    Georgia

    God bless this lady.

    Reply
  • July 27, 2012 5:56 pmPosted 2 years ago
    Carolyn

    God bless you Jeni

    Reply
  • July 27, 2012 5:58 pmPosted 2 years ago
    Sharon

    God bless you Ma’am.

    Reply
  • July 27, 2012 6:15 pmPosted 2 years ago
    Lee Ann

    thank you

    Reply
  • July 27, 2012 6:18 pmPosted 2 years ago
    Christine

    Thank you

    Reply
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    July 27, 2012 6:18 pmPosted 2 years ago
    Margaret

    Why is it that humans with authority think death is always the answer? Grrrr. Bravo Jeni Mather!

    Reply
  • July 27, 2012 6:46 pmPosted 2 years ago
    Anthea

    I think the if they going to start killing animals cause they’re aggressive they should start doing this to people like murderers, rapists n pedophiles. World doesn’t need these predators. What about those poor animals that get trained to be aggressive by their owners, put them to death too.

    Reply
  • July 27, 2012 6:48 pmPosted 2 years ago
    Jude

    Wonderful!

    Reply
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    July 27, 2012 6:51 pmPosted 2 years ago
    Donna

    The comment, “He would just absolutely thrust himself on the ground and close his eyes” broke my heart. She was just trying to give him a treat but he was preparing himself to get brutally beaten again. He had never known kindness or love before. Thank Goodness for this woman and her loving heart to help these poor abused babies.

    Reply
  • July 27, 2012 6:51 pmPosted 2 years ago
    Patti

    God Bless her.

    Reply
  • July 27, 2012 6:56 pmPosted 2 years ago
    Veronica

    What a wonderful lady the world would be a better place if there were more like her in it

    Reply
  • July 27, 2012 6:58 pmPosted 2 years ago
    Esperanza

    THANK. YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU.!! FOR BEING SUCH LOVING AND CARING HUMAN BEING. ALL MY LOVE TO SANDIE AND BLUE. PRAY FOR A GOOD LOVING HOME FOR THEM.:-)

    Reply
  • July 27, 2012 7:03 pmPosted 2 years ago
    Anonymous

    What a lovely story! ~ Carol

    Reply
  • July 27, 2012 7:08 pmPosted 2 years ago
    Katie

    Why is the first thing they do is order the dogs to be put down???!!!! They deserve the chance to be loved and rehabilitated…..

    Reply
  • July 27, 2012 7:09 pmPosted 2 years ago
    Candi

    There are some wonderful people still around. Bless you!

    Reply

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