BELLINGHAM, Wash.- Lauren Galt doesn't travel anywhere without a gauze pack and bandages nearby to protect her wounds.
“It's terrible,” she said.
Galt was at Lake Whatcom with some friends when a pit bull lunged at her face and literally ate part of her nose.
“I was choking on blood. It was pouring down on me. I was just trying to contain the blood,” she said.
Galt has endured two surgeries to reconstruct her nose. She'll likely wear bandages on her nose and neck for the rest of her life because the skin there remains so thin.
The care has cost the 25-year-old about $7,000 out-of-pocket. She pays $400 per month in medical bills – nearly twice her car payment.
“I didn't know it would be this much trouble in my life as far as surgeries, and how I breathe, and avoiding the sun. I can't fully enjoy my life the way I should be able to,” she said.
The dog involved in the attack had already been cited for two other incidents, and was labeled "dangerous" by the Whatcom Humane Society.
More than two years later, however, the dog's owner has not stood trial. Galt said he moved to Ohio where he runs a gym and has not responded to her lawyers.
Prosecutors identify the dog's owner as Matt Catalogna. They said felony charges are pending against him, but they do not believe he left the state to avoid prosecution. Prosecutors said he has been cooperating with them. Catalogna did not return KING 5’s request for comment as of press time on Friday.
Meantime, Galt is left scarred for life and financially handicapped.
“I mean, like who does that?” she wonders aloud. “It just blows my mind.”
A GoFundMe account has been set up for Lauren Galt.
(© 2016 KING)