Texas Dog Sitter Brutally Mauled in the Face Speaks on Long Recovery — and Her Dream to Become Dog Trainer

Texas Dog Sitter Brutally Mauled in the Face Speaks on Long Recovery — and Her Dream to Become Dog Trainer

Jacqueline Durand's ears, nose and lips were lost in a brutal dog attack, but the recovering 22-year-old isn't ready to swear off animals
Jacqueline Durand, a 22-year-old Texas woman whose face was mauled severely to the bone by the dogs she was hired to care for last December, is speaking out for the first time on CBS Mornings

According to Durand's recent lawsuit against the animals' owners, the dogs allegedly knocked her to the ground and "brutally attacked" her as soon as she unlocked the door to the Coppell residence "without provocation." The vicious attack had left her face disfigured after the dogs — a mixed-breed German shepherd and a pit bull — tore off her ears, nose and lips. 

During the interview, Durand, who had already been in the hospital for seven weeks, decided to reveal her face, saying, "It's time."

"I feel like I didn't ask for this," she shared. "So, I think that it's time to show who I am now, and I can't be scared of it."

After undergoing extensive procedures, including having her skin grafted from her buttocks and forehead to rebuild her face, she was finally released from the hospital accompanied by applause from her doctors and nurses. When she arrived home, Durand also received a warm welcome from law enforcement agencies and family members. 

Despite the horrific ordeal she endured, Durand revealed she wants to be set as an example instead of being seen as a victim.

"I want dog owners to know their animals and be able to communicate with their sitters how they are," she said. "Honestly, I'm speechless. 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." 

As part of her recovery process, Durand is going through physical therapy, which involves stretching her mouth one millimeter at a time to help her eat more, and will undergo several other corrective surgeries scheduled over the next couple of years. 

She admitted, "it's not fun to think about" the process but she is grateful for "how amazing the doctors are."

"I'm putting it in their hands to help me," she added. 

As a longtime dog lover who had worked as a dog sitter for seven years prior to the attack, the tragedy has not changed her opinions on the animal; in fact, she hopes to continue working with dogs as a trainer. 

"That's my dream, but I am not sure where life is gonna take me yet," she said.

Her parents — John and Shirley Durand — have strong faith their daughter will tackle all the obstacles given her strength and positive outlook in life. 

"She has all she has her senses now," Shirley told CBS News. "She can walk, she can talk, she can smell, she can hear, and she can see. She's going to be fine." 

"The sky's the limit with her attitude, her survival instincts, her hope," John added. 

A GoFundMe campaign has been established online, with all proceeds going to Durand to help with her ongoing recovery.

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