Baby and toddler beaten to death by family pit bulls after mother fights to save children

Two young children died Wednesday after being attacked by their two family dogs.

Her mother was also critically injured in the attack in Tennessee north of Memphis while trying to save her children.

Two-year-old girl Lilly Jane Bennard and five-month-old boy Hollace Dean Bennard were attacked by the family’s two pit bulls around 3:30 p.m. and were pronounced dead at the scene, the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office said.

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Her mother Kirstie, 30, spent 10 minutes trying unsuccessfully to save her from the dogs, leaving her in critical condition.

Kirstie’s husband’s uncle, Jeff Gibson, shared an update on the attack and Kirstie’s condition on Friday.

“Kirstie is still in the hospital with numerous stitches and bite marks all over her body, including her face,” Gibson said.

“Both arms and legs are fully bandaged/wrapped. Right now it looks like there is no permanent damage other than a heart that will never heal.”

The sheriff’s office said Thursday that the mother’s condition had been upgraded to stable.

The two pit bulls responsible were euthanized by Memphis Animal Services Thursday, the sheriff’s office tweeted.

“This is still under active investigation,” Sheriff’s Office spokesman John Morris said Thursday.

Gibson and Kirstie’s friends have gathered behind her for support.

“Kirstie is a bloody hero! That attack lasted over 10 minutes and she never gave up trying to save those babies,” Gibson said.

“Now we all, family and friends, need to rally around them both and show them how much they are loved. I don’t know if there can be a healing process, but hopefully there (can).

“As of now, there are no funeral arrangements for the children.”

Kirstie’s best friend Brooklyn Bumpus announced that a candlelight vigil for the children would be held soon.

Honors flow for the Bennards

“The devastation and pain we are experiencing is absolutely unimaginable,” Bumpus said.

“What our sweet friends the Bennards have endured is unfathomable to say the least.

“The love and kindness this family shows us is second to none. They are pure gold and more than one family.

“Our children have more than love for each other and nothing but bad memories. This is by far the hardest thing my brain has had to break down.

“Let’s remember the four as we know them! Beautiful, perfect and real. Please shut down any hate or negativity you see or hear.”

Family friend Debbie Harvey started GoFundMe and raised $20,000 for the grieving family in just 12 hours, despite warnings that other fraudulent fundraisers are floating around.

Two children were attacked and their mother seriously injured when their pet pit bulls attacked on Wednesday. Recognition: Facebook

“They are such an incredible and sweet family and need a lot of prayer and support at this time,” Harvey said.

“Keep praying for them daily as they come through this incredible tragedy for the family. They are so loved in this community and we must step up to support them.

Another friend, Lauren Adams, addressed the heartache that is now sweeping through her community.

“If you know the Bennards, your heart breaks today, too,” Adams said.

“Hug your babies and give your families special love today (every day) and get on your knees and pray for this sweet, sweet family.

“Nobody should experience that kind of pain and tragedy.”

-With NBC

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James Brien

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