The couple allegedly had a sign on their front door warning guests of the dogs, but hadn’t kenneled them when the 22-year-old student and part-time dog walker arrived for work.
A 22-year-old Texas college student has filed a lawsuit against the owner of two dogs she was hired to watch after their German shepherd and mix-breed pit bull attacked and permanently disfigured her.
According to NBC News, the “bloodthirsty” attack happened quickly. When Jacqueline Claire Durand opened the door to a Coppell, Texas, home on December 22, the two dogs “rushed” at her and began biting.
“Then, the Dogs violently attacked her head and face—mauling her catastrophically,” the lawsuit reads. “The Dogs were so violent and blood thirsty that they pulled all of Jacqueline’s clothes off, including her blue jeans.”
“In their prolonged attack,” the complaint states, “the Dogs left puncture wounds over most of [Durand’s] entire face.”
The dogs, says NBC News, tore off and ate most of her ears, while her face was brutalized below the eyes.
Although Durand had met the dogs once before, the attack happened on her first day as a hired dog walker.
The lawsuit alleges negligence and premise liability against the dogs’ owners, identified as Ashley Jo Bishop and Dr. Justin Avery Bishop.
The complaint, adds NBC, also names the two as defendants in their capacities as trustees of a private family trust.
In her lawsuit, Durand’s attorneys lamented how the college student never imagined her fondness for animals could “cost her so much.”
The Bishops, said Durand’s lawyers, were aware that their pets had violent tendencies; they had always allegedly been aggressive toward people who approached the front door. The lawsuit, though, suggests that Bishops have continued to “defend” their dogs.
“However, an ominous sign on the Bishops’ front door shows that they actually knew or reasonably should have known of the Dogs’ dangerous propensities,” the complaint says.
The sign, adds The Forth Worth Star-Telegram, read: “Crazy Dogs. Please Don’t Knock or Ring the Bell. Call or Text Instead.”
While the dogs were typically kept in kennels, they were outside their cages when Durand arrived for work.
NBC News reports that, after the incident, the City of Coppell captured the dogs and remanded them to municipal custody; a local judge later determined that both animals should be euthanized. However, Durand’s attorneys have appealed the order, asking that they have more time to inspect the animals.
The lawsuit is requesting more than $1 million in damages, arguing that the Bishops failed use “ordinary care and prudence,” including warning Durand of possible danger, failing to control or contain the dogs, and not failing to provide a safe environment.
Chris Booker, an attorney representing Durand, told NBC News that the Bishops have not issued an apology.