Komen race director attacked by dogs while jogging in north Macon

Scott Tankard doesn't know exactly how long he fought off two dogs Saturday morning while he was running down Alexandria Drive in north Macon.

"The dogs wouldn't let me go," Tankard said Monday. "It was very terrifying actually."

The man who was supposed to direct the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure this Saturday called the attack a mauling. The seven-inch gash on his right calf, sprained ankle and wound on his hand will keep him from race this weekend, he said.

Tankard, 53, said he was jogging down Alexandria Drive at about 10 a.m. when a mixed-breed dog lying on the grass in front of house number 104 started barking at him. He had encountered two other dogs at that house before, a boxer and labrador, who routinely barked at him and charged toward the invisible boundary of their electric fence, Tankard said.

This time the boxer charged through the boundary with the labrador following behind. The boxer ripped the back of his hand in two while the labrador got a good grip on his leg, he said. The unfamiliar mixed breed dog didn't attack.

He charged through them, thinking if he got on the other side of the invisible barrier, he might be safe. In his haste to run, he fell in the yard, rolled and got back up, he said. When the dogs kept coming at him and biting at his legs, he sought refuge on the porch and began calling out for help. With the dogs snarling and barking, he was cornered on the right side of the porch where apparently no one was home, he said.

He kept screaming until a neighbor came to his aid. The 5-foot-10 inch, 180-pound teacher at the Georgia Academy for the Blind doesn't know how long he cried out for help. From now on he'll carry his cell phone with him.

"With that much adrenaline running through my body, I don't know how many minutes it was, but it seemed like the longest stretch of minutes ever," Tankard said. "I left a lot of blood on the owner's porch."

A neighbor called the ambulance and the crew rescued him from the porch.

"The ambulance backed up the driveway to the porch and opened its doors," he said.

Tankard spent five hours in the emergency room of The Medical Center of Central Georgia receiving treatment for his seven wounds and was at the doctor's office for another three hours Monday and will go back again Wednesday, he said.

He hasn't been able to reach the owners of the dogs, John and Sarah Wright, through their listed phone number. A phone message left for John Wright at different phone number listed on the Macon police report was not immediately returned.

Jim Johnson, director of Macon's Animal Control Department, said the dogs have no prior history of bites and were current on their rabies shots. The animals are being quarantined at their home for 10 days in the custody of the Wrights, Johnson said.

"They were given a citation for the dogs being loose, but we're not real sure that's what happened," Johnson said.

The Macon police report states the Wrights have the invisible boundary fence but the batteries in the dogs' collars were run down.

After the quarantine, Animal Control officers will visit the dogs to make sure they are fine.

Tankard said it was unnerving to see the dogs still at the property.

"I do want to make sure nobody else gets hurt," he said. "Somebody smaller than I would be hurt worse."