Family Dogs Kill 2 Children Send Mom to Hospital After 8 Years without Incident

The family dogs who mauled two Tennessee toddlers to death Wednesday and left their mother with severe injuries had never been aggressive, a friend told Fox News Digital.

Kirstie Jane Bennard, 30, was seriously wounded when she tried to pull the family’s two pit bulls off 5-month-old Hollace Dean and 2-year-old Lilly Jane at their home in rural Shelby County outside Memphis.

“That attack lasted longer than any one of us could have ever imagined,” the devastated mom’s best friend, Kelsey Canfield, told Fox News Digital

“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 shattered mom’s best friend, Kelsey Canfield, told Fox News Digital. “Those children were everything to them, and they just have a really long journey ahead.”

The family had the pets, Cheech and Mia, for more than eight years without a violent incident, Canfield said.

“That attack lasted longer than any one of us could have ever imagined,” she added. 

Canfield was with Kirstie Jane Bennard’s sister Friday, and they were headed to Regional One Health in Memphis to visit her. Her condition was upgraded from critical to stable.

“She was initially confused. She’s awake now, and she’s aware [of what happened],” Canfield said.

Hollace and Lilly Bennard were mauled to death by the family's pit bulls in Tennessee on Wednesday.

The children’s father, Colby Bennard, who works as a parts manager at Bumpus Harley-Davidson, wasn’t home at the time of the attack. 

The father had shared photos of Cheech and Mia on Facebook, calling them “house lions.”

Colby Bennard’s uncle, Jeff Gibson, wrote on Facebook that Kirstie Jane Bennard has an “uncountable amount of stitches and bite marks over her entire body including her face.” 

The Bennard family dogs, Cheech and Mia, who were euthanized after killing 5-month-old Hollace and his big sister, Lilly, 2. 

Her legs and arms are completely wrapped in bandages, but she likely won’t have permanent damage “other than a heart that will never heal,” the post says.

 “[Kirstie] is a f—ing hero! This attack lasted over 10 minutes, and she never gave up trying to save these babies,” Gibson wrote. 

Authorities did not say why the family pets viciously turned on the couple’s only children.

 The Shelby County Sheriff’s Office, which is investigating the tragic killings, said the pit bulls were euthanized on Thursday.

Police and the fire department responded Wednesday at 3:30 p.m. to the two-story home near Shelby Forrest State Park, and the children were pronounced dead at the scene.

“They were perfect, they were beautiful,” Canfield said of the infant and toddler, adding that they “worshiped each other.” 

Kirstie Jane Bennard’s sister, who did not provide her name, asked for privacy while the family grieves. “It was not just a loss to my sister but to me as well,” she said, weeping. “That was my niece and nephew.”

Five-month-old Hollace Bennard and his big sister, 2-year-old Lilly. The children were killed Wednesday by the family's pet pit bulls.

The community is reeling from the horrific attack. 

“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,” wrote friend Stephanie Chipman on Facebook above a series of photos of Kirstie Jane Bennard and her family. 

“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!” the post continued.

Kirstie Jane Bennard, left, poses with a friend in an undated photo. Her two children died Wednesday after they were mauled to death by the family dogs.

The children’s autopsies are still pending.

At least 33 people in the U.S. were mauled to death in 2020 by pit bulls — more than any other dog breed, according to non-profit dogsbite.org. 

12 thoughts on “Family Dogs Kill 2 Children Send Mom to Hospital After 8 Years without Incident

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    1. PARENTS THAT TEACH THEIR CHILDREN TO RESPECT ANIMALS, DO NOT HAVE THESE INSTANCES…….I WAS RAISED WITH CHOWS AND WAS TAUGHT NOT TO PULL THEIR HAIR OR DO THINGS THEY DID NOT LIKE….THEY WERE MY BEST FRIENDS……..THE FEMALE HELPED ME TO START WALKING WHILE HOLDING ON TO HER BACK……SHE THOUGHT I BELONGED TO HER AND WAS PROTECTIVE…..

      RESPECT & LOVE ARE A MUST FOR ALL DOGS…..PARENTS SHOULD TEACH (EVEN THOSE THAT CRAWL) TO NOT PULL THEIR HAIR, EARS, OR HIT THEM……..DOGS ARE OUR FAMILY, THEY DESERVE TO BE TREATED WITH KINDNESS AND RESPECT.

  1. For decades, people have been warned about how dangerous it is to own pit bulls as family pets. We have seen the damage over and over again. Get a golden retriever, get a bichon, just don’t see a pit bull as a pet; it’s a working dog with very specific strengths, not a pet. Even more dangerous is to have a pair; there will always be the alpha and the follower. I have seen the same scenario two different times with two different pairs of black lab mixes: long-time family pets all of a sudden, as a pair, mauled a smaller dog.

    1. TEACH YOUR KIDS TO RESPECT THE PIT BULL………THEY SHOULD NOT PULL THEIR HAIR, EARS, OR HIT THEM……..THAT IS CALLED RESPECTING A FAMILY MEMBER THAT YOU CHOSE TO BE IN THE FAMILY……KIDS NEED TRAINING, JUST LIKE THE DOGS.

  2. DOGS GET TIRED OF BEING ABUSED……….TRAIN YOUR KIDS TO RESPECT THE ANIMAL….DO NOT PULL THE HAIR, EARS, OR HIT THOSE CANINES.

  3. Pit Bulls are not a safe animal to have around in any situation !
    Its not if but when will they turn on you !
    They are a breed that could and should be eliminated !

  4. I’m not big on pit bulls. The only ones I’ve been around were mean. I would never e one, but that’s my decision. I’ve always had a fear of big dogs anyway. Probably due to being around one with rabies and having to have shots. 28 days of them in my stomach. When your under 5, it’s a traumatic event. I do have small to mid size dogs. 20 pound range. All are rescues and all are black.

  5. Pit Bulls were bred from the beginning to attack and kill the same as thoroughbred horses are bred to run. These people posting to teach your kids not to do anything to incite the the dogs to do what they were bred to do should realize these babies were two months and two years old.

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