Two children were killed, and their mother was hospitalized after the family’s two pit bulls attacked them outside their family home in Tennessee, authorities said.
Family members said Kirstie Jane Bennard, 30, suffered multiple injuries when she tried to pull the dogs off her 5-month-old son Hollace Dean and 2-year-old daughter Lilly Jane, who were both killed in the vicious dog attack.
“She put her body on top of Lilly’s to try and protect her after the attack started,” Bennard’s uncle, Jeff Gibson, told USA Today. “Both [dogs] started attacking her while she lay on Lilly.”
The Oct. 5 attack lasted for a long and tragic10 minutes.
According to the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office, the children died at the scene. Bennard was taken to a local hospital, where she remains in stable condition.
The two dogs, Cheech and Mia, were euthanized.
“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,” Bennard’s best friend Kelsey Canfield told Fox News Digital. “Those children were everything to them, and they just have a really long journey ahead.”
Canfield said Cheech and Mia had been with the family for eight years.
“That attack lasted longer than any one of us could have ever imagined,” she added.
It’s unclear why the dogs attacked.
“It is still an active, ongoing investigation,” Sheriff’s office public information officer John Morris told the press.
A Gofundme page has been set up to help the family.
“They are such an incredible and sweet family and needs lots of prayers and support at this time,” the page reads.