2 children killed, mother hospitalized after Tennessee dog mauling

MEMPHIS – Two young children are dead and their mother was seriously injured after two of the family’s dogs attacked a baby and a toddler outside their West Tennessee home.

The assault happened Thursday outside the family’s Memphis-area home, the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office said.

Kirstie Bennard, 30, suffered critical injuries when she tried to intervene in the attack on her 5-month-old son, Hollace Dean, and 2-year-old girl, Lilly Jane, the family told USA TODAY on Saturday.

“He put his body on top of Lilly’s to try to protect her after the attack started,” said Jeff Gibson, Bennard’s uncle by marriage. “Both (dogs) started attacking her while she was lying on top of Lilly.”

Both children were pronounced dead when officials arrived at the home, the sheriff’s office said.

His mother was taken to a local hospital in critical condition, authorities said.

Bennard has been released from the hospital, Gibson said Saturday.

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