A five month-old baby boy and his two year-old sister who were both mauled to death by their family’s pet pit bulls have been identified.
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, on Wednesday.
Their mom, Kirstie Jane Bennard, 30, of Millington, was also injured in the attack while trying to save her children and was transported to Regional One Health in ‘critical condition’ on Wednesday, police said.
A family friend told DailyMail.com on Thursday that the respiratory therapist is ‘hanging in there,’ but declined to speak further.
Bennard’s husband of five years, Colby, who manages a Harley-Davidson dealership in Memphis, was reportedly unharmed.
Eight years ago, he 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.
Hollace Dean Bennard, five months, and Lilly Jane Bennard, two, were pronounced dead at the scene after being attacked by the family’s pit bulls in Shelby County, Tennessee, on Wednesday
Little Lilly looks at her baby brother in a recent pictures the family shared
Their mom, Kirstie Jane Bennard, 30, of Millington, (left) was also injured in the attack while trying to save her children. A family friend told DailyMail.com on Thursday that the respiratory therapist is ‘hanging in there,’ but declined to speak further. The father Colby (right) was reportedly unharmed
DailyMail.com has attempted to reach Colby for comment, with his father Michael declining to talk when contacted by phone.
The attack happened around 3.30pm on Wednesday inside the family’s $360,000, five bedroom Sylvan Road home in Millington, Tennessee – near Memphis.
It is unclear what caused the pit bulls to become aggressive.
The Shelby County Sheriff’s Office confirmed to DailyMail.com on Thursday that the pit bulls are currently in possession of Animal Control.
The family referred to their dogs as ‘house lions’ and it unknown why they became aggressive on Wednesday. Colby shared this picture in 2016, but it is unclear if it is the same dogs
The family has posted pictures of the animals (pictured in 2016 and 2017) on their social media, showing the dogs around their home
The attack happened around 3.30pm inside the family’s $360,000 Sylvan Road home (pictured) in Millington, Tennessee – near Memphis
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 WREG Facebook post about the tragedy that she was furious about the news coverage, 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] wasnt real.’
Her friends took to Facebook to offer their prayers and send her their love
Gallini also criticized the media coverage in a separate comment, questioning why the tragedy needed to be made public.
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 understanding!’
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 list of the dogs that bite the most, according to the Journal, alongside Chihuahuas, German Shepherds, and Cocker Spaniels.
The Shelby County Sheriff’s Office confirmed to DailyMail.com on Thursday that the pit bulls belonged to the family and are currently in possession of Animal Control
The children were pronounced dead at the scene. Their mother was also severely injured