The mother of a five-month-old boy and the two-year-old girl who were mauled to death by dogs is still fighting for her life in the hospital.
Kirstie Jane Bennard, 30, of Millington, spent ‘over 10 minutes’ trying to save her children when the family’s dogs began viciously attacking them on Wednesday afternoon. It is unknown why the pets suddenly became aggressive.
Her husband’s uncle, Jeff Gibson, revealed the mother-of-two has an ‘uncountable amount of stitches and bite marks over her entire body, including her face’ and that both her ‘arms and legs are bandaged/wrapped up completely.’
Gibson said Bennard’s injuries won’t cause ‘any permanent damage, other than a heart that will never heal.’
The mother is still in the hospital in ‘critical condition,’ family friend Debbie Harvey told DailyMail.com on Friday.
‘Kristie is a f**king hero!’ he wrote on Facebook. ‘She never gave up trying to save these babies.’
A family friend told DailyMail.com on Thursday that the respiratory therapist is ‘hanging in there,’ but declined to speak further.
The couple’s children Hollace Dean Bennard, five months, and Lilly Jane Bennard, two, were pronounced dead at the scene after being attacked by the dogs in Shelby County, Tennessee.
The youngsters were their parents’ only children. Funeral details have not yet been released, but there will be a candle vigil soon, according to Harvey.
Bennard’s husband of five years, Colby, who manages a Harley-Davidson dealership in Memphis, was unharmed.
Further details of how the tragedy unfolded have yet to emerge. The animals have been taken away by the local animal control department, although it’s unclear if they have been put down.
DailyMail.com has attempted to reach Colby for comment. His father Michael declined to talk about the incident when reached by phone.
A family friend started a GoFundMe page for the family to help them ‘get back on their feet.’ It has raised $7,500 out of its $10,000 goal within two hours of it going live.
Eight years ago, Colby shared a picture of two pit bulls on Facebook and referred to the animals as ‘house lions’ while chatting with Kirstie.
It is unclear if those are the same dogs behind Wednesday’s attack.
The attack happened around 3.30pm on Wednesday inside the family’s $360,000, five-bedroom Sylvan Road home in Millington, Tennessee – near Memphis.
The Shelby County Sheriff’s Office confirmed to DailyMail.com on Thursday that the pit bulls are currently in possession of Animal Control.
The investigation into the attack is ongoing, and the Sheriff’s Office declined to comment further.
It is unclear if any criminal charges will follow.
Bennard’s best friend, Kelsey Gallini, posted on Facebook, asking for ‘prayers,’ saying ‘everyone in her circle could really use that.’
‘I love you, I love you, I love you,’ she wrote in a separate post.
Gallini also revealed in a comment to a WREG Facebook post about the tragedy that she was furious news outlets were covering the attack, questioning why ‘something so traumatic and unimaginable [had] to be so publicized.’
Friend Lacie Snider replied to the social media post, writing: ‘I feel like the phone call I had with Caitlin [Killebrew] wasn’t real.’ Killebrew is another friend of the family.
Killebrew wrote, alongside a photo of the two at her wedding: ‘My sweet friend – I love you.’
Another wrote: ‘Praying so hard! Shock is an understatement!’
Many others said they were ‘heartbroken,’ ‘dumbfounded,’ and sending ‘big prayers.’
Pit bulls are known for having one of the strongest bites, alongside Mastiffs and Rottweilers, according to the Canine Journal.
The breed is also on the journal’s list of dogs that bite the most, alongside Chihuahuas, German Shepherds, and Cocker Spaniels.