(CNN) -- A dog sheltered a newborn baby abandoned by its 14-year-old mother in a field in rural Argentina until the boy was rescued, a doctor said Friday.
A resident of a rural area outside La Plata called police late Wednesday night to say that he had heard the baby crying in a field behind his house.
The man went outside and found the infant lying beside the dog and its six newborn puppies, said Daniel Salcedo, chief of police of the Province of Buenos Aires.
The temperature was a chilly 37 degrees, Salcedo said.
The dog had apparently carried the baby 50 meters from where his mother had abandoned him to where the puppies were huddled, police said.
"She took it like a puppy and rescued it," Salcedo said. "The doctors told us if she hadn't done this, he would have died.
"The dog is a hero to us."
Dr. Egidio Melia, director of the Melchor Romero Hospital in La Plata, said police showed up at the hospital at 11:30 p.m. Wednesday with the baby, who doctors say was only a few hours old.
Though the infant had superficial scratches and bruises and was bleeding from his mouth, he was in good shape, Melia said.
The next morning, the child's mother was driven by a neighbor to the hospital and told authorities that the 8-pound, 13-ounce infant is hers, Melia said.
The teenager was immediately given psychological treatment and was hospitalized, he said. She has said little about the incident.
The child has been transferred to a children's hospital in La Plata, 37 miles from Buenos Aires.