Two family dogs attacked a baby and toddler outside their West Tennessee house, two small children were killed and their mother was severely injured.
According to the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office, the mauling occurred outside the family’s Memphis-area house on Thursday.
Kirstie Bennard, 30, was critically injured as she attempted to intervene in the attack on her 5-month-old son, Hollace Dean, and 2-year-old daughter, Lilly Jane, according to relatives and police.
“After the attack started, she laid her body on top of Lilly’s to try and protect her,” Bennard’s uncle via marriage, Jeff Gibson, told USA TODAY on Saturday. “Both dogs began attacking her when she was lying on Lilly.”
The sheriff’s office reported that the two children were pronounced dead when officials arrived at the home.
Officials said their mother was taken to a local hospital in critical condition.
Gibson said his nephew, Colby Bennard, was not home when the attack occurred.
It was not immediately known what provoked the mauling.