Kristi Noem faces bipartisan bashing for shooting her 'untrainable' 14-month-old dog

"Cricket was a wirehair pointer, about 14 months old," and she had hoped to use the dog for hunting, Noem said.

Published: April 28, 2024 11:56am

South Dakota Republican Gov. Kristi Noem, a contender for the spot of former President Donald Trump's 2024 running mate, is under fire from Democrats and fellow members of the GOP after she admitted in her upcoming memoir that she shot and killed her 14-month-old dog for allegedly being "untrainable," as well as her family's goat for being "nasty and mean."

"She can't be VP now," Trump ally Laura Loomer wrote on X, formerly Twitter. "You can’t shoot your dog and then be VP."

Multiple Democratic governors, including Tim Walz of Minnesota, Gretchen Whitmer of Michigan and Phil Murphy of New Jersey posted pictures of themselves with their dogs and the caption: "Post a picture with your dog that doesn’t involve shooting them and throwing them in a gravel pit."

The debacle began after The Guardian on Friday wrote about the incident after obtaining a copy of Noem's book, "No Going Back: The Truth on What’s Wrong with Politics and How We Move America Forward," ahead of its release next month.

Noem wrote in her book that "Cricket was a wirehair pointer, about 14 months old," and she hoped to use the female dog Cricket for hunting.

Noem said she tried to control the dog with an electronic collar, but it didn't work. When Noem went with Cricket on an excursion with older dogs, the young pup ruined the hunt by going "out of her mind with excitement, chasing all those birds and having the time of her life," the governor wrote. 

Noem stopped to speak with a local family on her way home from the hunt, and Cricket escaped the car and killed some of the family's chickens. When Noem grabbed Cricket, the dog "whipped around to bite me," Noem said. The governor then paid the local family the price of the chickens and helped them dispose of the bird carcasses. 

"I hated that dog," Noem wrote. The incident proved Cricket was "untrainable," "less than worthless ... as a hunting dog," and "dangerous to anyone she came in contact with," per the governor.

Noem then decided to put the dog down by bringing Cricket to a gravel pit and shooting the pup.

"It was not a pleasant job," she wrote, "but it had to be done. And after it was over, I realised another unpleasant job needed to be done."

Noem then decided to shoot her family's goat. She described the unnamed goat as "nasty and mean" because he was uncastrated and said he smelled "disgusting" and "loved to chase" her children.

She also brought the goat to the gravel pit to kill him the same exact way she had killed Cricket. However, the goat survived the first shot by jumping, so Noem was forced to return to her truck, grab another shell, and go back to put him down.

Noem realized that a construction crew watched her kill both the goat and the dog, she also wrote. When her children returned from school shortly thereafter, her confused daughter asked "Where's Cricket?" The Guardian does not include how Noem responded to the question.

"ACT NOW! For just $.10 a day you can help us save a puppy from Kristi Noem," Florida Democrat Rep. Jared Moskowitz wrote on X alongside a video mimicking the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals commercial. The video features Sarah McLachlan's song "Angel" while pictures of sad puppies and the message "Every day, these poor dogs face the cruelest of circumstances at the hands of Kristi Noem. No dog deserves to be in her book. Always in our hearts Cricket," flash on the screen.

Meanwhile, the conservative satire outlet the Babylon Bee, published multiple headlines joking about the incident, including: "'I'm Sorry I Have To Do This,' Says Kristi Noem Pumping Shotgun After Puppy Playfully Barks At Mailman" and "Kristi Noem Clarifies Killing Puppies Makes Up Only 3% Of What She Does."

Some pro-life advocates took a different stance on the issue.

"If only people hated Planned Parenthood for killing babies as much as they hate Kristi Noem for killing a dog," said on X. 

Noem defended her decision on X, stating: "We love animals, but tough decisions like this happen all the time on a farm. Sadly, we just had to put down 3 horses a few weeks ago that had been in our family for 25 years."

Follow Madeleine Hubbard on X or Instagram.

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