AUGUSTA – Hoot, Meta and Sierra were found suffering from hypothermia and dehydration in a box left out in the sweltering Southern sun for days.

The three puppies were rescued and now have new homes with loving owners in Maine.

By chance, they also get to play with each on a regular basis.

The dogs, roughly 6-month-old Labrador and likely hound mixes, were part of a litter of seven taken in by a Tennessee dog rescue agency after they were discovered, at about 2 weeks old.

Since then, the three ended up separately in Maine and at the K9 Cabin Dog Day Care in Augusta, where they now regularly romp and cuddle with each other while their owners are busy at work or in classes.

In Meta’s case, her tail-wagging reunion with her littermates some 1,400 miles away from their old home in Tennessee was entirely by coincidence.

“When we pulled up to K9 Cabin for our meet and greet, Teresa looks at Meta and was like, ‘She looks really familiar,’” said James Sturtevant of Wiscasset, who adopted Meta, with his wife, Adrianne. “We talked about it and figured out the other two are her brother and sister. That’s pretty cool, awesome. It’s one of those stories that make you wonder how that happens, like it’s something that was just meant to be, somehow.”

Andrew Hayes of West Gardiner was the first to bring his pup, the brindle Hoot, to K9 Cabin. He said he’d been searching www.petfinder.com for about a year, looking for a brindle Labrador mix, when he found his new furry friend. He and the other pups were at Loving Paws Rescue in Tennessee.

On Sept. 8, Hayes picked up Hoot in a truck stop parking lot in Kittery, where a dog transport service had brought him, along with other dogs, including Sierra, to their new adoptive owners.

While picking up Hoot, Hayes chatted and exchanged phone numbers, with Alessandra and Mikel Benson of Augusta, the new owners of Sierra.

When the Bensons were looking for a dog day care service for Sierra, they visited Hoot and Hayes, who recommended K9 Cabin, where he was already taking Hoot three days a week.

“He loves it. He gets pretty excited when we pull in the door” Hayes said. “It was like they recognized each other as soon as we came through the gate.”

Kennebec Journal Staff Writer Keith Edwards can be contacted at 621-5647 or at:

kedwards@centralmaine.com