The boyfriend of a Texas student who lost most of her face when she was mauled and bitten 800 times by two rescue dogs has vowed to stand by her, insisting he was repaying her for supporting him through cancer treatment.
Jacqueline Durand, 22, was mauled two days before Christmas – and a day before her 22nd birthday – while dog-sitting Dr Justin Bishop and his wife Ashley’s dogs in Coppell, a suburb of Dallas.
Before going to the home, she was assured the two dogs – a German Shepard mix, Lucy, and a Pitbull mix named Bender – would be in their crates and kennels.
However, when she arrived, the animals were roaming around the house freely.
Speaking to CBS News for a segment that was broadcast on Wednesday, Durand’s boyfriend Nathan, 24, said he was standing by her.
‘I’m so grateful that I get the same opportunity to show the same level of love and care that she showed me during that time,’ he said.
‘I’m glad that I get the chance to.
‘And I’m glad I get to be there for her.’
Jacqueline Durand is pictured with her boyfriend Nathan, 24, who just beat cancer. He said he is glad to be able to take care of her
Durand, 22, (pictured before the attack) was violently mauled by a German Shephard mix named Lucy and a Pitbull mix named Bender, a day before her 22nd birthday, and only a few days before Christmas
Durand, a supply chain management student at the University of Texas at Dallas, had met the dogs in the days before the attack, and had described the animals as ‘lovely.’
But as soon as Durand entered the home on December 23, they pounced and mauled her, leaving behind 800 bite marks.
The dogs ripped off Durand’s ears, nose, and face, leaving nothing but bone behind, and she lost 30 per cent of the blood in her body, leaving her hospitalized for 60 days.
She faces several surgeries and is undergoing intense physical therapy sessions which include having her mouth stretched by 1mm at a time so she can eat.
In the interview with CBS Mornings, she said: ‘When I felt the skin hanging from my face, I thought I was going to die.’
During the attack, Durand was unable to call for help – but 911 was alerted because the property’s front door was left open when the dogs pounced, triggering an alarm.
When first responders arrived, they weren’t able to enter the home for 37 minutes because the dogs were so aggressive.
A representative told CBS News they were ‘only able to see Jacqueline Durand’s legs and were not immediately aware of the extent of her injuries’.
Despite the horrific attacks and the multiple reconstructive surgeries she underwent, Durand said she is ready for the world to see her face.
‘It’s time to show who I am now, and I can’t be scared of it,’ she said.
Scroll down for video.
After spending 60 days in the hospital – where she underwent multiple reconstructive surgeries using skin from her buttocks on her face – and extensive therapy, Durand is now home with her family and their dogs and is ready to ‘show who I am now’
Lucy (left) and Bender (right) have been ordered to be euthanized after the attack
The floor was left covered in blood after the attack, as seen on bodycam footage from police, who were unable to enter the home for 37 minutes because they felt unsafe
The dogs dragged Jacqueline from the entryway into the property. Photographs taken after the attack show a bloodied rug and dog bed. Jacqueline lost 30 per cent of her blood in the mauling and now faces several surgeries and has frequent physical therapy sessions
Despite her horrific injuries, she said she wants to be an example for what dog owners should do to prevent such attacks.
‘I want dog owners to know their animals and be able to communicate with their sitters how they are,’ she told CBS News.
The dog-sitter of seven years also said she was still ‘speechless’ about the dogs’ change in behavior from the first time she met them to the day of the attack.
‘After every meet and greet I had, I always felt the same with those other dogs and they don’t change their attitude from the time that I met them to the time that I go there for the first time.’
Durand’s lawyers say that as soon as she opened the door to their home, the dogs pounced.
The owners, who have three children – including a three-year-old – claimed the dogs were never violent, telling investigators that they had ‘zero’ problems with them.
However, they reportedly had a sign on their home claiming to have ‘crazy dogs’ and to not ‘ring the doorbell’.
The front door sign read: ‘Crazy Dogs. Please Don’t Knock or Ring the Bell. Call or Text Instead.’
‘The warning on the door suggests that the Bishops knew that both of these dogs have acted aggressively to people arriving at the front door,’ Durand’s lawyer Chip Brooker told CBS Mornings.
Durand is accusing Dr Bishop and his wife of negligence for allegedly failing to control, secure and train the animals, as well as ‘failing to provide a safe environment for their invitees,’ according to the suit.
He also said they planned to prove the couple’s negligence through the results they received after examining the dogs after they were removed from the property.
Brooker said the expert team’s results show ‘that the dogs were dangerous and had vicious propensities’.
‘We suspect the Bishops knew that.
‘We suspect everybody who came across these dogs, particularly Lucy, knew that,’ he told CBS News.
Durand (seen being pushed by a nurse at the hospital) had met the dog prior to the attack, but was told they would be in their kennels before she arrived. The owner later told her that she failed to put them in the kennel
The dogs ripped off her nose, lips, and ears after rushing at her when she opened the front door
After she went inside, the dogs then proceeded to maul her ‘catastrophically,’ tearing off and eating both of her ears, her nose, her lips, and most of her face below her eyes, the lawsuit states.
‘The owner assured Jacqueline that the dogs would be crated,’ Brooker said in a statement.
‘But, shortly before her first visit, the owner texted Jacqueline to tell her that she failed to crate the dogs before leaving town.’
After the dogs pushed the door open, Durand claims they knocked her off balance, causing her to fall and drop her cell phone.
The dogs were allegedly so violent and bloodthirsty that they pulled all of Jacqueline’s clothes off, including her blue jeans.
The attack happened one day before her 22nd birthday and just few days after she had already been to meet both dogs at their home with their owner, specifically to get to know them and their routines.
The suit argues that the situation Durand was entering was made even more dangerous by virtue of the fact the dogs were not in their kennels, as had been promised.
Police bodycam footage shows the bloody dog beds and Durand’s blood pooled on the floor.
She was laying on her stomach naked when police were finally able to enter the home and rescue her.
She can be heard crying as medics inspected her body and told her to ‘keep breathing’.
The Coppell Police Department later posted a picture with Durand on February 21 on its Facebook page, welcoming her home after her two-month hospital stay.
‘Jacqueline, you have been in our thoughts and prayers and we are so grateful that you are back home. You’re such a beautiful warrior and an inspiration to us all,’ the department wrote.
Durand is seeking a jury trial and compensation of more than $1 million.
The Bishops, who have not contacted or fully paid Durand, told CBS News that they were ‘heartbroken’ by the attack, stating: ‘We know that she was injured severely, and are devastated by what she and her family are going through.
‘We would never knowingly put anyone in harm’s way, and were shocked by what happened at our home.
‘Due to pending litigation we have been advised not to give any interviews, however, we want Ms. Durand and her family to know that we fervently pray for her recovery daily.’
Jacqueline Durand, (pictured) a 22 year-old student University of Texas at Dallas, went to the home of Dr. Justin Bishop and his wife Ashley after being hired to dog sit
A sign on the door warns: ‘Crazy Dogs. Please don’t knock or ring the bell. call or text instead.’
The attack happened at the Bishop family home, pictured, in the northwest suburbs of Dallas, Texas
After the attack, emergency services were immediately called and Durand was taken straight to a Level 1 trauma center, equipped to handle the most serious of conditions.
She had to be revived on the trauma room table.
She was also in the trauma center for seven hours before her parents were even notified, CBS News reported.
Her parents also said their daughter had to be resuscitated multiple times and was placed in a medically induced coma during the first week.
‘It was clear that he was saying she’s in for a fight for survival,’ her father John told CBS News.
He called her a ‘miracle.’
The officers that responded to the call posted a pictured with Durand on February 21, welcoming her home and wished her luck on her long recovery. ‘Jacqueline, you have been in our thoughts and prayers and we are so grateful that you are back home. You’re such a beautiful warrior and an inspiration to us all,’ the police department wrote
John and Shirley Durand (pictured together) said they didn’t know she was in the hospital for seven hours after the attack
In a January 18 Facebook post, Durand thanked people for their well-wishes from her hospital bed.
‘I am so blessed to be surrounded by so much love and support as I go through this hard time in my life,’ she wrote.
‘Thank you everyone who is supporting and loving me every step of the way since the beginning!
‘I am making good progress every single day that I’m here.
‘Prayers are being answered! Thank you.’
The dogs were captured and placed in the care of the City of Coppell before a municipal judge decided that both dogs should be euthanized, the suit said.
Durand (pictured) was left with hundreds of puncture wounds and remains hospitalized after undergoing multiple reconstructive surgeries, with more to go
The attack happened days after the 22-year-old met both dogs in their home with their owner to get to know them and their routine (Durand pictured before mauling)
She thanked her well-wishers on Facebook in January
The lawsuit lays the blame directly at the Bishops who allowed the animals to remain on their property while ‘knowing they had dangerous propensities’.
It alleges the Bishops knew of the dog’s tendencies towards violence because of the ‘crazy dogs’ warning sign that was visible to anyone walking up to the front door.
‘Jacqueline will forever measure her life in terms of before and after opening that door,’ Brooker said.
‘She will be permanently disfigured for the rest of her life, and we filed this lawsuit to make sure all the responsible parties are held accountable.’
Between 2005 and 2017, there were a total of 433 deaths caused by dogs in the US
Pit bulls continue to top the list of America’s most dangerous dog breeds, having been responsible for 284 fatal attacks on humans from 2005 to 2017.
The second breed on the list, Rottweilers, came a distant second with 45.
Boyfriend of Texas student, 22, disfigured after being bitten by dogs 800 times stands by her Source link Boyfriend of Texas student, 22, disfigured after being bitten by dogs 800 times stands by her