A 78-YEAR-OLD villager from Charfield has appealed to dog owners to stop and think after he was knocked to the ground by a Terrier.

Tony Wilkins was out enjoying a stroll near the Plough on Wotton Road at around 4pm on Sunday, December 23 when a patron smoking outside the pub called after his dog, which was running loose close by.

The animal charged towards the pub, striking Mr Wilkins on his way. The retired BT engineer fell flat on his face and was left with a black eye, bruised chin, cut and swollen lip and wrenched shoulder. He managed to get up and despite feeling dizzy walked back home.

"I am diabetic so I have to walk about a bit," Mr Wilkins said. "There was a man standing outside the Plough. His dog had wandered off and he called his dog back. The dog came racing back.

"It all happened so quickly I found myself on the floor. I got up and I was a bit shaken and dizzy. All I wanted was to get home."

At the time of the incident, the Terrier’s owner asked if he was all right but did not help Mr Wilkins up or apologise.

The pensioner, a self-proclaimed animal lover, said he had nothing against dogs and was in fact ready to stroke the dog when it approached him.

"I was going to stroke it, I like dogs," he said. "It was excited and it pushed and I lost my balance. Owners need to stop and think."

His wife Kay, 76, told the Gazette her husband was silent and visibly upset when he returned home.

She said: "He came in and didn’t say much. Then he said I’ve been knocked over by a dog. If it had been somebody frail it could have been worse. He was lucky.

"I don’t think people realise how important it is to keep their dogs on a lead. It’s a shame as the majority of dog owners are responsible and caring. It’s the odd few that spoil it for everybody."