London: A starving two-year-old boy in Chile was kept alive by a neighbour's pregnant dog who breastfed him before police rescued the malnourished child.
The neglected boy, also suffering from a skin infection and lice infestation, was discovered nearly naked at a mechanic's workshop in Arica, more than 1,600 kilometres north of capital Santiago, police said.
Neighbour Lory Escudero spotted the boy being breastfed by her dog Reina, hailed as a hero by the locals, and called the police last Thursday.
"We have our dog who is there and she's pregnant. The hungry boy suckled on the dog's teats for milk," Escudero said.
"Everyone that is here, we're all parents and if you saw what we saw from my position as a woman, as a mother, it was terrible," she was quoted as saying by the UK-based news channel Sky News.
The boy was taken to a hospital where he was treated for malnutrition and skin infections before being released on Friday to be taken care by the child welfare authorities.
His mother visited the hospital, but was inebriated, police said, adding that she has not been placed under arrest as there had been no physical harm to the boy.
The incident took place in an impoverished area of Arica where thousands of Peruvians and Bolivians arrive in search of work.
A family court hearing on September 22 will determine who will care for the child.