I had never seen a stray dog in my life until I traveled to Costa Rica. Walking around, it feels like there are more stray dogs there than there are people.

I visited a town there once where a bartender had asked if I had met “Tri-pod” yet. I asked who that was and he responded, “you’ll know when you see him.”

The next day as I was walking to the store, I saw a three-legged dog wobbling around the streets. The lightbulb immediately went off in my head.

Stray Dogs in Maine

We are fortunate to live in a place where there are homes for most dogs and those without a family have safe refuge at one of our many animal shelters.

I had never seen a stray dog in Maine until recently and I have potentially seen two in the last week.

The first one I saw that may or may not have been a stray was on Main Street in Westbrook. I was driving near Bridge Street around 4 p.m. last weekend and saw a brown dog, extremely skinny with ribs showing, running down the street.

Thirty minutes later, I saw the same dog across town running in the middle of the street! I called the animal shelter and they said they had been notified and there were cars pulling over to help him.

Just now, I was driving down Route 88 in Yarmouth and saw a scruffy, dirty, skinny brown and white dog barreling down the street that looked to be homeless.

Fortunately, cars were stopping and pulling over with their hazards on to see what was going on.

What is going on? Are these stray dogs? Do we have strays running around and I’ve just been blind to them until now?

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To prepare yourself for a potential incident, always keep your vet's phone number handy, along with an after-hours clinic you can call in an emergency. The ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center also has a hotline you can call at (888) 426-4435 for advice.

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