A MAN was savaged by a Rottweiler after the snarling animal broke free from its tether outside shops in Nythe.

Lawrence Kirvy was bitten on his legs and thigh as he tried to fight off the animal.

The 49-year-old was taken to hospital where he was treated for a possible infection.

He said: "It was a terrifying experience - it just lunged at me.

"If I had been a child I wouldn't have stood a chance."

Even at a towering six feet, Mr Kirvy said he struggled to fight off the dog.

He said: "I was flailing my feet at it, I wasn't going to let my hands near it because it kept snapping and snarling.

"No-one could help. All they could do was stand there and watch as it kept coming at me."

The incident happened at 2.15pm on Wednesday as Mr Kirvy went to buy a lottery ticket from a shop in Nythe Drive.

The dog was tethered outside the store but began snarling at Mr Kirvy as he approached the entrance.

He said: "I wasn't worried at first because it was tied up but then it suddenly broke free.

"I was stuck - I didn't know what to do - it just kept coming at me."

A woman minding the dog came out of the shop and apologised before leaving with the animal.

The Honda worker, who lives in Wootton Bassett, was due to start work just 15 minutes later but the extent of his injuries meant he had to go to the Great Western Hospital's emergency department.

He said: "I was in a lot of pain. I am very sore at the moment and couldn't go back to work straight after the attack - it hurt too much."

Dog-lover Mr Kirvy says he is terrified the animal may strike again.

He said: "I love dogs, I had my own until recently when it died of cancer, but the thought that this dog could seriously injure or even kill a child is unbearable.

"It wasn't even muzzled - I think it should be put down while it is a danger to children."

Mr Kirvy returned to the GWH yesterday to make sure his bite wounds were not infected.

He reported the attack to the police.

Wiltshire Police spokesperson Claire Usher said: "We are aware of an incident outside a newsagents in Nythe and are investigating the matter.

"We urge witnesses or anyone with any information on the incident to come forward either to ourselves or anonymously through Crimestoppers."

Wiltshire Police can be contacted on 0845 4087000 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.