Woman attacked by dog in Bellingham says owner refuses to pay her medical bills

Pit Bull Attack

If you didn't know, then you probably couldn't tell that 25-year-old Lauren Galt lost a large portion of her nose in a vicious dog attack while at a friend's house in Bellingham.
 
"It ate the cartilage so on this side I have a big chunk missing," she said, pointing to the left side of her nose.

She credits her surgeons with making her nose look undamaged.
 
"Two reconstructive surgeries. The last one was really big," Galt explained. "[The surgeon] put cartilage in the tip, removed part of my septum and reconstructed -- tried to prop my airways because what was taken was affecting my breathing canals."
 
Galt says doctors used skin from her neck to work wonders with her nose, but the surgeries weren't pro bono. In all, Galt estimates she's making payments on a more than $10,000 medical bill, and that's just the out-of-pocket portion. She says the dog's owner hasn't contributed a dime.

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"'I'm sorry this happened but I don't have any money,' and that was pretty much it," Galt said, remembering a conversation she had had with the dog's owner, Matt Catalogna.

Prosecutors confirm Catalonga moved to Ohio and he is facing felony charges for the attack. Galt has documentation that shows the dog had already been deemed dangerous before her attack due to at least two other incidents involving other dogs.
 
That was enough for a lawsuit, Galt says, but after several unsuccessful attempts to serve him in Ohio, Galt's attorney dropped the suit.

We called Matt Catalogna for comment, and he told a much different version of the events. He said he only owned the dog for three days before the attack and that Galt startled the animal.

"I did everything on my part. When the dog did the bite, I took the dog in the next day and had him put down," Catalogna told us.

He says no one attempted to serve him, and he shouldn't have to foot the bill. Galt says that's the least he could do.
 
"It's affected my life since then and will continue to affect the rest of my life," Galt concluded.