TOWN OF GIBSON - Officials for a Manitowoc County community are looking at their options after two Rottweilers, belonging to Green Bay Packers running back Cedric Benson, attacked 17 calves last month.
Last week, Benson received his second citation in one month for his dogs running loose. No one was injured in the most recent incident, but it came just a few weeks after the incident with the calves. The calves are on a farm near Benson's town of Gibson home.
In September, a man installing a fence at Benson's home was sent to the hospital. According to the police report, Benson's four Rottweilers broke out of the house. The man says at least one of the dogs bit him several times on his legs.
Benson is also facing a lawsuit in Illinois from an incident before he was a member of the Packers. A woman who claims she was bit at Benson's home is looking for up to $50,000 in damages from the running back.
Despite Benson's history, area officials say they aren't about to take his dogs away.
"If they continue to run, we'll have to look at some type of process for doing this," said Gibson town chairman Richard Wegner.
State law says a municipality has the power to receive a court order to take away someone's dog. The law says a judge could sign off on such an order after two incidents where a dog injured a person or animal off its owner's property.
According to reports from the Manitowoc County Sheriff's Department, Benson's dogs have been in two injury situations, but only the incident involving the calves happened off the running back's property.
"I would say there would probably be another citation or two issued before something, unless something serious would happen," said Wegner. "If something serious would happen, I'm sure we'd have to look at the legal process about removing the dogs."
That's despite numerous concerns from neighbors. The owners of the calves that were injured wouldn't talk on camera, but said they have hired a lawyer to explore their options with Benson.
"If he can keep them inside his kennel now, fine, but if they start getting away on him again we're going to have to look at something," said Wegner.
Benson is due in court next month for his two citations.
Benson told FOX 11 that he has no comment regarding his dogs.
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