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Dog 'saved life' of Polish toddler who went missing in freezing temperatures

The young girl vanished from her home on Friday in freezing temperatures

Firefighters in Poland have said a dog probably saved the life of a three-year-old who went missing overnight in freezing temperatures.

The child, Julia, vanished from her home on Friday and was found several kilometers away in nearby marshes on Saturday morning .

The dog, a black mongrel, had stayed by the girl's side during a night when temperatures fell to -5C (23F).

According to firefighter Grzegorz Szymanski the dog kept Julia warm enough to survive the icy conditions.

Szymanski told the BBC: "For the whole night the animal was with the girl, it never left her. Remember, it was 5 degrees below zero and the child was wet."

Her parents last saw her playing in the back garden with the black mongrel dog.

A large search party of over two hundred people went looking for the missing girl, it is thought she wandered into the forest near her home in the village of Pierzwin.

The girl is being treated in hospital for frostbite.