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South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem defends story in new book about killing her pet dog

Noem, a potential running mate for former President Trump, stated that she "followed the law and was being a responsible parent, dog owner, and neighbor" by killing her 14-month-old dog, Cricket.
South Dakota Republican Gov. Kristi Noem
Posted at 1:38 PM, Apr 29, 2024

South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem — a potential running mate to former President Donald Trump — is responding to backlash she has faced in recent days over a startling excerpt in her upcoming book that details how she killed her unruly pet dog.

The Guardian was first to report the harrowing story after obtaining an advanced copy of Noem's book, "No Going Back: The Truth on What’s Wrong with Politics and How We Move America Forward.” In it Noem reportedly admits to killing her 14-month-old hunting dog, Cricket, after the wirehaired pointer allegedly killed a neighbor's chickens and then bit Noem.

On Twitter, Noem defended her actions but said she can understand why some people are disturbed by the story.

"The fact is, South Dakota law states that dogs who attack and kill livestock can be put down," she said in a statement. "Given that Cricket had shown aggressive behavior toward people by biting them, I decided what I did. Whether running the ranch or in politics, I have never passed on my responsibilities to anyone else to handle. Even if it’s hard and painful. I followed the law and was being a responsible parent, dog owner, and neighbor."

South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem.

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Political strategist Quentin Jiles told Scripps News that he was "completely flabbergasted" not only at the fact that Noem admitted to killing the dog, but also that she decided to write about it publicly.

"I get it, on one hand, as a woman, wanting to convey yourself as strong because of the incorrect societal notions that women are not," Jiles said. "And on the other hand, I think that she's making herself look sadistic and crazy."

Sheryl Adams is a political analyst and former Republican congressional candidate. She points out that among conservatives, Noem has been seen as a relatable politician who's good at connecting with her base, but that her decision to include this story in her book could be a potentially career-damaging distraction.

"I think there are going to be a lot of people that don't care about all of the good things she's done and they'll be focusing on those negative," Adams said. "If I did that and I thought that was the right thing to do, I wouldn't put it in a book."