Victim Reveals Facial Injuries; Amended Petition Filed
Jacqueline Durand, 22-years old, suffered catastrophic injuries in a violent dog attack.
Victim Gives Interview
UPDATE 03/20/22: On March 16, 2022, one day after the Amended Petition was filed, CBS Mornings aired a segment featuring Jacqueline Durand, a 22-year old college student, who was nearly killed by two dogs she had agreed to pet sit. The vicious attack occurred on December 23. The dogs inflicted over 800 bites, resulting in catastrophic disfigurement. She was released from the hospital in February. The segment also aired parts of police bodycam footage at the scene.
The two dogs pinned her down and tore off her nose, ears, lips and cheeks to the bone. The dogs, as the CBS correspondent states, nearly erased her face. Bloody crime scene images are shown in the segment as well. Durand was attacked as soon as she opened the front door. The dogs then drug her into the living room, where they mauled her extensively. By the time responders entered the residence to rescue her, 37 minutes after arriving, she had lost 30% of the blood in her body.
Durand's parents said that after she arrived at the trauma center, she had to be "resuscitated on the trauma table multiple times." She was placed into an induced coma for over a week. Durand states during her interview, "I feel like I did not ask for this. So, I think that it's time to show who I am now, and I can't be scared of it." She is seated in a wheelchair and the injuries to her face are devastating to witness. Durand does not want to be seen as a victim, but rather as an example.
The Instagram Chat
CBS correspondent David Begnaud also hosted a 54 minute Instagram Live with Durand and her father, where Begnaud responded to people's questions. We encourage readers to watch it in full. Durand is breathtakingly courageous and inspiring. At 27:50, Durand shares that she had a near death experience four times while on the operating table. At 29:00, Begnaud addresses how police were notified of the attack, what they knew when they arrived, and the "37 minutes" delay issue.
"Now, I want to do a little bit of reporting here," Begnaud said. "I called the Coppell Police Department and I asked them, 'Why did it take 37 minutes?' ... It's a relevant question to ask, because they had a gun, the dogs didn't.
The cops knew the following things when they arrived. That the neighbor had been bit. That the dog sitter was likely the person inside. That there was no one else inside, but the dog sitter ... and the dogs were clearly being vicious toward the police officers. Again, the cops had a gun. They could have shot the dog. And there is a moment in the video where you hear the officer say, 'I see her feet.' And there are points at which they're asking Jacqueline questions and Jacqueline is moaning the answer. She's clearly in pain ...
Anyway, the police sent a statement to CBS News and basically they said they did not go in because they didn't know how bad her injuries were.
Not the most sufficient answer to Jacqueline and her family," Begnaud said. - CBS correspondent David Begnaud
The Amended Petition
The Amended Petition against the owners of the dogs, Ashley and Justin Bishop, was filed on March 15. Additional defendants include: Big Dog Haven, Inc., the Tennessee-based legal owner of "Lucy," a German shepherd-mix the Bishops were fostering; National Veterinary Associates, Inc.; and NVA 1-20 AMC Veterinary Management, LLC. The latter two, referred to as the "NVA Defendants," were responsible for treating Lucy's severe wounds after getting into a dog fight.
14. Upon information and belief, Defendant Big Dog Haven -- a canine-rescue organization located in eastern Tennessee -- took legal ownership of Lucy and assumed financial responsibility for her, thereby paying the NVA Defendants several thousand dollars for Lucy’s 11 days of intensive care and treatment. In exchange, Big Dog Haven exploited Lucy by using graphic images of her wounds on social media to raise money for its continued operations. - Durand v. Bishop, Amended Petition
The crux of the allegations against Big Dog Haven and the NVA Defendants comes next. Lucy never made it to Tennessee; she was not a transport dog either. On November 16, 2020, Dallas Animal Services picked up Lucy, "who had sustained a severe, infected leg wound following a fight with another dog," states the Petition. That same day, Lucy was transferred to an NVA animal hospital, where she would continue to receive treatment in intensive care over the next 11 days.
15. Despite this, upon information and belief, Big Dog Haven never took possession of Lucy; she never made it to the mountains of eastern Tennessee. And, despite having been wounded in a vicious fight with another dog, neither Big Dog Haven nor the NVA Defendants made any effort to assess Lucy for aggression. Upon information and belief, any scientifically-sound assessment protocol would have identified Lucy as a dangerous and behaviorally-unsound dog who was not suitable for placement as a foster or adopted pet.
16. But there is no money to be made in the responsible euthanization of dangerous dogs. As a result, neither Big Dog Haven nor the NVA Defendants made any effort to determine whether Lucy was behaviorally sound or fit to be placed as a foster animal. Instead, with donations flowing to Big Dog Haven and the NVA Defendants’ bills paid, Lucy was simply recycled back into an unsuspecting community of dog lovers -- where this preventable attack occurred -- ultimately coming into the possession of the Bishop Defendants as a foster pet. - Durand v. Bishop, Amended Petition
The NVA Defendants and Big Dog Haven are being sued for negligence, in part, for: failing to assess and classify aggression thresholds for Lucy; failing to conduct any behavioral or sociability assessment of Lucy; failing to evaluate and document Lucy’s prior adoption and rescue history; failing to warn of Lucy’s dangerous propensities; failing to conduct sufficient due diligence regarding dogs received from animal services; and failing to euthanize a dangerous dog.
They are also being sued under "joint enterprise." The entities are "jointly liable herein for the negligence alleged above, pursuant to the doctrine of joint enterprise," because "an express or implied agreement existed" between them; they had "a common purpose to carry out together;" the entites had "a community of pecuniary interest in that common purpose;" and each "had an equal right to a voice in the direction of the enterprise, arising to an equal right of control."
02/01/22: Petition: Durand v. Bishop
Dallas County, TX - On January 25, a Petition was filed in a Dallas County court against Ashley Jo Bishop, individually and as trustee of the Bishop Family Trust, and Justin Avery Bishop, MD, individually and as trustee of the Bishop Family Trust, after their two dogs inflicted catastrophic injuries to Jacqueline Durand, a 22-year old college student. Durand had been hired to dog sit the Bishop's dogs over the Christmas and New Year's holidays at the Bishop home in Coppell, Texas.
How this pleading was explained to us is the following: The victim is suing the dog owners who resided in the home and the family trust, which owns the residence. So there are technically (conceptually) two different defendants. The owners or harborers of the dogs, who caused the accident by allowing the dogs to reach the victim and the other being an "entity," which knew that vicious dogs resided on the property, but did nothing to eliminate the danger posed by these dogs.
Jacqueline Durand loves dogs. She loves dogs so much that she started working as a dog sitter and walker to earn extra money while a full-time student at the University of Texas at Dallas. But Jacqueline never expected that her love of dogs would cost her so much.
On December 23, 2021, Jacqueline went to the home of Ashley Bishop and Dr. Justin Bishop to walk their dogs -- including Lucy, a German Shepherd mix-breed, and Bender, a Pit Bull mix-breed (collectively, the “Dogs”). As soon as Jacqueline opened the front door -- without provocation -- the Dogs, who the Bishops had left out of their kennels, pushed the door open and brutally attacked Jacqueline.
The Dogs knocked Jacqueline off balance, causing her to fall and drop her cell phone. Then, the Dogs violently attacked her head and face -- mauling her catastrophically. The Dogs were so violent and blood thirsty that they pulled all of Jacqueline’s clothes off, including her blue jeans. The Dogs tore off and ate both of Jacqueline’s ears, her nose, her lips, and most of her face below her eyes. In their prolonged attack, the Dogs left puncture wounds over most of her entire body. When she was finally pulled out of the house, Jacqueline was taken immediately to a Level 1 trauma center where she has since undergone multiple surgeries.
Despite their Dogs’ vicious attack and mauling of Jacqueline, the Bishops continue 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. - Durand v. Bishop, CC-22-00369-D
Reviewing the Petition
Texas is a "one bite rule" state. Victims of dog attacks have to prove the owners knew, or reasonably should have known of the dogs' vicious propensities in order to recover compensation. It is a two-part rule, as explained on Dogbitelaw.com. "This doctrine holds that a victim can recover compensation from the owner, harborer or keeper of a dog if (a) the dog previously bit a person or acted like it wanted to, and (b) the defendant was aware of the dog's previous conduct."
"If either of those conditions are not met, however, the victim cannot employ this doctrine as a ground for recovery." - Kenneth Phillips, Dogbitelaw.com
There are three causes of action in this pleading. The Petition cites premises liability as the first. "Defendants created and maintained an unreasonably dangerous condition on their premises," states the Petition, "by -- among other negligent acts or omissions and without limitation -- (i) maintaining, possessing, and exercising control over the dogs, (ii) failing to warn Plaintiff of the dogs’ dangerous propensities, and (iii) leaving the two dogs unsecured outside of their kennels."
Texas also permits dog attack victims to recover compensation on the ground of negligence. "The owner of a non-vicious animal can be 'subject to liability for his negligent handling of such an animal,'" states Dogbitelaw.com. Negligence is the "absence of the kind of care a reasonably prudent and careful person would exercise in similar circumstances," states the site. The defendant owed a duty to exercise reasonable care and the defendant breached that duty.
Under the negligence cause of action, the Petition cites multiple items, including: maintaining and possessing dangerous dogs; failing to warn Plaintiff of the dogs’ dangerous propensities; failing to kennel the dogs while unattended; failing to conduct sufficient due diligence on their foster animals; owning, keeping, or harboring more than four animals over six months of age; failing to exercise ordinary care and prudence; and failing to provide a safe environment for their invitees.
Prior to Durand arriving at the Bishop home on December 23, Bishop texted and informed Durand that -- "inconsistent with the Bishop’s normal practice -- they left the dogs outside their kennels," states the Petition.
The third and final cause of action is negligence per se, which is negligence based on violating an animal control law. "To prevail on a claim, the litigant alleging negligence per se must show that there was a violation of a statute or an ordinance," states Dogbitelaw.com. "The plaintiff must prove that the violation was the cause of his injuries," states the site. The Petition cites the violation of two regulations, § 9-1-5 -- Registration, License and § 9-1-18 -- Dangerous Dogs.
The Bishop's "Crazy Dogs"
Court records pertaining to the seizure of both dogs and the dangerous dog hearing, state the male pit bull, "Bender" was owned by the Bishops. The female German shepherd-mix, "Lucy" was under the care of the Bishops through a foster program at the time of the attack. The owner of Lucy is Big Dog Haven, Inc., of Greenville, Tennessee (page 34). Lucy is seen on the Big Haven Facebook page in a March 25 post. Both dogs are still being held at the Coppell Animal Shelter.
It is unknown why Big Dog Haven, Inc., is not named as a defendant in the Petition or why the Petition was filed so quickly after the attack.
According to affidavits filed for the seizure of the dogs, veterinary records stated that "Bender" had black and white coloring, weighed about 90 pounds and was 4-years old. "Lucy" had tan coloring, weighed about 65 pounds and was 5-years old. Both dogs were observed to have blood evidence on their neck and muzzle. A third smaller dog was not observed to have blood evidence. The Bishops told investigators there was no previous bite history for any of the dogs (page 6).
Victim and Dog Owners
Jacqueline Durand is a 22-year old college student at the University of Texas at Dallas, who earns extra money by dog sitting and walking. Prior to December 23, 2021, Durand met with Ashley Bishop at the Bishop’s home to discuss a potential dog sitting job. With Bishop present, Durand met the dogs without incident. Other than the “Crazy Dogs” sign on the front door of the Bishop’s home, Durand was not given any warning about the dogs' vicious propensities, states the Petition.
We located the inquiry that Bishop posted to the Pet Owners of Coppell Facebook group on December 7. "Hey guys. I am in desperate need of a dog sitter for my 3 dogs from Dec 23-Dec 31," Bishop states. After securing Durand as a dog sitter, Bishop wrote, "This is the first Christmas vacation I have taken with our entire family in almost 20 years." Both statements might indicate that Bishop knew she could not send her "Crazy Dogs" to a kennel. A sitter was her only choice.
The demographics of the people who responded to Bishop's "desperate" dog sitting inquiry for the Christmas and New Year's holidays are also telling. All visible responders were females about 35-years and older, except for Durand, who was only 22 and still a student. One of the responders asked Bishop to share a photo of her dogs. Bishop did not do so on the thread. It is by chance that Bishop picked the youngest and most inexperienced female to dog sit her "Crazy Dogs?"
Prayer from Family Friend
On January 8, a prayer from a family friend was left on Durand's Facebook page, which included the possibility of a facial transplant. "Oh good Father, we can't imagine this travesty! We hurt for Jacqueline and all those who care about her. Please give the medical staff acute knowledge of what they need to do to restore the face of this young woman. If a face transplant is Your will, please provide the perfect size face and skin tone to match Jacqueline's coloring," states the post.
In a pale and somber face, John Durand, Jacqueline's father, told news outlets that as soon as she opened that door that day, the dogs immediately took her down. She was "dragged throughout the home," he said. Her "clothes ripped off. 800 to 1,000 bites around her body. Her ears, nose, upper lip and face, from cheek bone to cheek bone, were pulled off of her face," he said. Below is the video clip that is featured on Jacqueline's GoFundMe, which has so far raised over $68,000.
"My daughter was on a pet sitting assignment," her father said. "She opened the door. Immediately, she was taken down. Dragged throughout the home. Clothes ripped off. 800 to 1,000 bites around her body. Her ears, nose, upper lip and face, from cheek bone to cheek bone, were pulled off of her face," he said.
"She remembers everything about the attack," her father said. "She has been forever changed and disfigured by the results of this vicious mauling by these two dogs," he said. "We just hope that she can return to whatever her normalcy will be one day. We will be with her every step of the way."
This is so clearly a case where the owners of two vicious dogs created the conditions for this catastrophic injury attack of a college student. If a neighbor had not been alerted and called 911, Durand would have died in the Bishop home after being dragged throughout the residence, stripped naked by the dogs and bitten up to 1,000 times. It is a miracle this attack did not result in Durand's death. Now Durand faces the lifelong aftermath of devastating, disfiguring injuries.
We encourage readers to donate to the Jacqueline Durand GoFundMe page to receive updates to it, to follow her Facebook page and to remember her in your prayers. She will need community support for years to come. We also caution all young women and the parents of young women about the dangers of "dog sitting" at multi-dog homes involving large dogs. There are very serious safety issues involved when visiting a dog owner's home without the presence of the owners.
John Durand, the victim's father, states in this video that Jacqueline suffered 800 to 1,000 bites.
08/23/21: Lawsuit Filed After Los Angeles Animal Services Failed to Disclose a Dog's Bite History
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