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Poland: Dog saves girl from freezing to death (VIDEO)

Firefighters in Poland say the dog stayed with the girl after she went missing from her home, likely keeping her from freezing to death.
Hero dog poland 2013 03 04Enlarge
This small black dog named Czarue is credited with saving the life of a 3-year-old girl who went missing in Poland, cuddling with her to keep her from freezing to death. (Screengrab)

Firefighters in Poland say a stray dog saved the life of a 3-year-old girl who went missing overnight in freezing temperatures.

The girl named Julia vanished from her home in Pierzwin on Friday, Reuters reported.

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Family members last saw her playing with a small black dog named Czarue in the backyard, and it appears the pair wandered into a nearby forest.

Rescuers stumbled across Julia the next morning.

She was wet from lying in a moist marsh, clinging to Czarue and crying for her mother, The Daily Mail reported.

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Though she did suffer some frostbite, firefighter Grzegorz Szymanski told BBC News the dog kept Julia warm enough to live.

"This dog is the most important part of this story," he told Reuters. "He is a hero. It is thanks to this dog that the girl survived the night."

Temperatures fell to about 23 degrees that night, according to Russian news network Ria Novosti.