Family dogs kill 2 Tennessee children, injure mom who tried to stop mauling, family say

Two family dogs attacked a baby and toddler outside their West Tennessee house, leaving two small children dead and their mother seriously hurt.

According to the Shelby County Sheriff's Office, the mauling happened outside the family's home on Thursday in the Memphis region.

When Kirstie Bennard, 30, attempted to stop

the attack on her 2-year-old daughter, Lilly Jane, and 5-month-old children, Hollace Dean and Lilly Jane, she was critically injured, according to relatives and police.

According to Bennard's married uncle Jeff Gibson, "she threw her body on top of Lilly's to try to shield her once the attack started." on Saturday. As she lay on Lilly, "both (dogs) started assaulting her."

When authorities got to the house,

they discovered the two kids already deceased, according to the sheriff's office.

Officials reported that their mother was sent to a nearby hospital in critical condition. Colby Bennard, according to Gibson, was not at home during the attack.