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'Dog Saves Missing Polish Child's Life'

A dog is believed to have saved the life of a three-year-old girl in Poland who disappeared in freezing temperatures.

The child, named Julia, went missing overnight on Friday from the small town of Pierzwin, in western Poland. She had last been seen playing with the small black mongrel on the same day.

A search party of firefighters, police officers, rescue workers and residents scoured the area through the night and the child was eventually found the following morning, several kilometres from her home, with the dog by her side. She was heard calling for her mother.

Firefighter Grzegorz Szymanski said Julia would probably not have survived the night had it not been for the dog's warmth.

"For the whole night the animal was with the girl, it never left her. Remember, it was five degrees below zero and the child was wet," he said.

Julia was taken to a hospital in Poland suffering from nothing worse than frostbite, despite having endured the harsh conditions.