A grandfather and his beloved dog were sprayed with corrosive liquid in a botched but savage pet kidnapping attempt.
Michael, 64, was walking Alfie, his young short-haired German pointer when robbers showered them with industrial cleaning fluid that was concealed in an Irn-Bru bottle.
The tiler fears he could have been blinded in the acid attack, which was launched to steal his dog, worth around £3,000.
Michael said: “The first man was big and fat, about 6ft 2in – he just grabbed Alfie by the collar and was wrestling with him.
“Alfie’s only ten months old but he’s a big strong dog, about 31kg, and he managed to knock this guy over somehow, I think he tripped him. I was more concerned about the dog than anything else, so I went over to try and free him.”
He added that a second attacker approached him from some trees.
“He sprayed me but I turned away just in time. It went all over my back, arm, some on my hands and a bit just below my left eye.
“It burned like hell and started blistering straight away. I only had a T-shirt on and it ate straight through it.”
Alfie managed to escape with minor burns to his back after the incident in Kent, but Michael said his body blistered ‘like hell’.
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Michael was also walking his other dog Tia at the time, although the men showed no interest in her.
Shortly after the attack, Michael’s wife Gabrielle, 66, suffered a heart attack.
A fundraiser set up for the couple says: “Both Michael and Alfie are receiving ongoing treatment which will leave Michael incapacitated for the foreseeable future. As a result of the stress Gabrielle has suffered a small heart attack and is undergoing cardiac tests and decisions regarding further treatment.
“This has left Michael, Gabrielle and Alfie traumatised following the attack.
“Any support would be most appreciated.”
Almost £2,000 has been raised by well-wishers so far.