Sue Gorman is still haunted by the two pit bulls who crept into her bedroom through an open door one morning and attacked her four years ago.
I close the door to my bedroom every night now, she said. But I can't be sure that it's safe to go to bed.
Gorman spent six days in the hospital, received 27 stitches to her face, 30 bites on her hands. Her nose is permamently disfigured. She fought the pair of pit bulls off as they went for her throat. Disabled with a head injury, Gorman says she feared something like this would happen for years.
It was like the neighbors had a tiger in their yard. She was that dangerous. And I was very concerned about the neighbors' little kids too, she said.
In the five months prior to the attack, Gorman called 911 at least 10 times complaining about the dogs. She even took a picture of one of the snarling animals as it lunged at her through her sliding glass door. There were four specific times Pierce County officials could've declared the dogs potentially dangerous.
That would've required the owners to keeps the dogs locked up, or leashed at all times. That never happened. Gorman believes that's because the Pierce County Auditor handles animal control issues. Complaints that come into them are not shared with the Sheriff's Department, nor vise versa.
The right hand didn't know what the left hand was doing, she said.
What's more, it appears that even after all this, little, if anything has changed to make the situation any safer in Pierce County. Gorman says, from everything she has learned through her ordeal, no changes to the communications system have been made.
It's just real scary that it can happen again to anybody in any neighborhood, she said.
KING 5 tried to get answers to those concerns, but no one from the Pierce County Auditor's office returned our calls. The county is on the hook for a little less than half of the $2.2 million judgement. The pit bull owners are resposnible for the rest. Their homeowners policies are exptected to cover that