10-Year-Old Miraculously Survives Harsh Blizzard in Russia by Hugging Stray Dog for 18 Hours

A stock image of snow from a blizzard.
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"The fact that the girl remained alive in such weather really is a miracle," one of the search party volunteers told a local news outlet.

A 10-year-old girl miraculously survived after clinging to a stray dog for 18 hours during a harsh blizzard in Russia that was marked with 2-foot snowdrifts, according to published news reports.

The terrifying ordeal took place on Jan. 13, when Viktoria Zarubina went missing from her school around 1 p.m. in the town of Uglegorsk, an island of Sakhalin in Russia.

The girl’s mother, Tatyana, called the police when her young daughter did not return home. 

Dozens of people searched for the young girl through the night as the weather grew more dangerous with barely any visibility. Police and volunteers searched yards, houses, and alleys in the area.

One volunteer told Komsolmolskaya Pravda that after searching all night, search crews began to get discouraged. “By morning, we started to think she would not be found alive. How can you survive such a nightmare outside?”

Search crews located Zarubina after someone reported seeing a girl playing with a stray dog near a shelter in the yard of an apartment building.

More than 18 hours later, around 7:30 a.m., Zarubin was found under a low balcony that offered some protection from the elements that were located about 500 yards from her house. She had been sitting on a mattress hugging the stray dog when rescue teams found her, Newsweek reported

She was taken to the hospital and returned home the same day, the news outlet reported. 

According to Komsolmolskaya Pravda, the young child was scared of the storm and when it started to get dark, she huddled next to the dog as the blizzard grew worse.

A spokesperson from Ulegorsk police said that “fortunately everything turned out to be all right with the girl,” the news outlet ASTV reported. 

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