Two toddlers were mauled to death by the family’s pet pit bulls on Wednesday afternoon.
The mother of the children spent “over 10 minutes” trying to fight off the two dogs when they suddenly attacked the five-month-old boy and the two-year-old girl.
The mother, Kirstie Jane Bennard, 30, a respiratory therapist from Millington, Tennessee, was seriously wounded and has an “uncountable amount of stitches and bite marks over her entire body, including her face” as she tried to stop the vicious attack.
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Hollace Dean Bennard, five-months-old, and Lilly Jane Bennard, two-years-old, were attacked by the dogs in Shelby County, Tennessee and later were pronounced dead at the scene.
The father, Colby Bennard, was reportedly not injured. It’s unknown if he was home at the time of the attack.
A relative, Jeff Gibson, told the Daily Mail that Kirstie’s arms and legs were bandaged up completely. Her condition has been upgraded from critical to stable.
“As of yet there are no funeral arrangements for the kids. Kirstey is still in the hospital with an uncountable amount of stitches and bite marks over her entire body including her face. Both arms and legs are bandaged/wrapped up completely.
“As of now it looks like there isn’t any permanent damage other than a heart that will never heal. Kirstey is a f**king hero!
“This attack lasted over 10 minutes and she never gave up trying to save these babies. Now all of us, family and friends, have to rally around both of them and show them how much they are loved. I don’t know if there can be a healing process but hopefully we can ALL find a way to cope with this tragedy.”
The Shelby County Sheriff’s Office reported that the animals were taken by the local animal control department and had been euthanised.
It’s unclear why the animals, which the family referred to as “house lions”, suddenly attacked the children as they had “never been aggressive.”
“I can promise you those children were her world, and if there was any inkling of danger, she would have never had those dogs near her kids,” the devastated mother’s friend Kelsey Canfield told Fox News.
The family had the pets, Cheech and Mia, for more than eight years without a violent incident, Ms Canfield said.
“That attack lasted longer than any one of us could have ever imagined.
“Those children were everything to them, and they just have a really long journey ahead.”
A GoFundMe page set up by family friend Debbie Harvey has raised nearly $25,000 for the family (US$15,905).
“… always continue to pray for them daily to make it through this unbelievable tragedy for the family. They are so loved in this community and we need to step up to support them,” Ms Harvey wrote.
Friend Stephanie Chipman wrote on Facebook, “To say that I am at a loss for words and my heart is and has been breaking since I found out is an understatement.
“Just in absolute shock. Praying so so so hard for the good Lord to hold you and your family tight and help you make your way through this. Here for you always and love you so much!”
At least 33 people in the US were mauled to death in 2020 by pit bulls — more than any other dog breed, according to non-profit dogsbite.org.
– with Fox News
Originally published as Tennessee pit bull attack: Two toddlers mauled to death by family’s dogs
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