COPPELL, Texas — Lawyers for a 22-year-old Dallas woman have filed a lawsuit that alleges their client was left "permanently and catastrophically" disfigured by the dogs she had been hired to take care of.
According to the lawsuit, Jacqueline Durand, a University of Texas at Dallas student who loved dogs and would dog-sit to earn money on the side, was hired by a Coppell couple last month to care for their three dogs while they were out of town.
A police report says Durand went to the couple's home around 5:30 p.m. two days before Christmas. According to a lawsuit, when she opened the door, the couple's mixed-breed German shepherd and mixed-breed pit bull "immediately and brutally attacked her."
Responding officers reported that the home's glass storm door was off its hinges with the front door wide open and blood was visible in the foyer by the time they arrived on the scene. Officers also reported seeing a significant amount blood in the hallways, as well as items "strewn about the hallway as if a violent struggle had occurred."
Once inside the home, the report says an officer could hear someone moaning, and then saw the young woman laying on her stomach with "serious facial damage" on her head. Paramedics were eventually able to get her out of the home.
One of the dogs also bit a neighbor, who had been contacted by one of the homeowners to check on the house after getting a notification from their wireless doorbell about the front door being open.
Officers eventually were able to contact the homeowners, who told police they were out of town and had used Durand to dog-sit for the first time. Another neighbor who had arrived on scene told officers that the dogs had not been aggressive before. However, according to both the lawsuit and one of the officers' accounts, the homeowners also had a sign that read "crazy dogs" and asked for people to call or text instead of ringing the doorbell. That, the lawsuit alleges, showed that the "defendants were negligent" and "created and maintained an unreasonably dangerous condition." The lawsuit is seeking damages and a jury trial.
Since the accident, the 22-year-old has had to undergo multiple reconstructive surgeries after she lost both ears, her nose, lips and a big portion of her cheeks. She also had several puncture wounds all over her body. She remains hospitalized more than a month removed from the incident.
According to attorneys for Durand, the dogs were seized by Coppell animal control and were later ordered euthanized by a municipal judge.
WFAA attempted to reach out to the dogs' owners for a comment, but has so far not been successful in those attempts.