A retired couple were left shaken and bruised after a dog owner attacked them when they tried to protect their pet in a Poole park.

The pensioners were walking their one-year-old Cairn terrier in Pocket Park in Broadstone when another dog – thought to be a Staffordshire bull terrier – attacked.

When they tried to protect their pet the attacking dog’s owner turned on them, striking the 65-year-old man in the chest and pushing his wife to the floor.

Both suffered bruising in what police described as the “unprovoked attack” and were checked over in hospital.

Officers are appealing for witnesses to the incident, which happened around 10am on Thursday, December 2. And they have released an image of the dog owner they would like to speak to.

Police Constable Barry Gosling, of Poole police, said: “Following enquiries, I am now able to release an image of a man that I would like to speak with about this assault – it may be that this man is able to help me with my investigation.

“I am appealing for anyone who recognises this man to contact me as soon as possible.

“I am also appealing for anyone who witnessed this attack, and anyone with any information about the man responsible, to get in touch urgently.”

Witnesses and anyone with information should call Dorset Police in confidence on 01202 222 222 or the free and anonymous Crimestoppers line on 0800 555 111 where mobile phone tariffs may apply.