A 73-year-old Barrow man and his small dog were attacked when out on a walk.

Wilf Rice had been walking in the Hawcoat area on Tuesday with his Shih Tzu-Westy cross Mia, who was on a lead, when they became victim to an attack from three dogs which at the time he believed to be similar to a pitbull.

“We were walking up Ennerdale towards the Community Centre and I saw these three brown dogs and two fellas,” said Wilf. “I walked up and thought that they looked a bit vicious, then one spotted me and came charging.

“I went to pick my little dog up quick but I didn’t get her in time, I just heard her squeal out and then the other two came.

“I shoved her over a wall into a little garden to try and protect her, but two of them jumped over the wall.

“One was just going to go for her again when the fella got the two dogs, and then the next thing I know I was on the floor and trying to kick a dog off.”

After carrying Mia home, covered in blood, Wilf managed to take her to the vets where it was discovered she had been bitten multiple times on the tail, as well as on her front leg.

Wilf then went to A&E where his injuries were treated.

“At the vets the nurse cleaned her up,” said Wilf. “But the blood was mainly off me, they made a right mess of my finger.

“But I am alright, I’m a bit shook up.

“My dog is a friendly little thing but she shakes a lot now because she is nervous after that.

“I couldn’t believe how quick it happened, I was in shock.”

After being contacted by a witness, the family now believe the dogs to be boxers.

Cumbria Police confirmed the incident was reported to police at around 6.54pm, but occurred at 1.50pm.

A Cumbria Police spokesman said: “Man reported he was walking his dog on Skelwith Drive when came across three dogs he described as bulldog type.

“The man stated these dogs attacked his own dog.

“The man, in trying to protect his own dog, was bitten by one of the dogs – this required medical treatment.

“Anyone with information regarding the incident is urged to report online at www.cumbria.police.uk/reportit quoting the incident number (190).

“You can also phone on 101.

“Alternatively you can contact Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.”