Kristi Noem Defends Killing Her Own Puppy

The South Dakota governor, who admitted to hating the animal, seems to care more about boosting book sales.

Kamil Krzaczynski/AFP via Getty Images

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Here at Mother Jones, we respect a wide spectrum of views when it comes to dogs. But a line must be drawn somewhere, and that somewhere is revealing that you killed your 14-month-old wirehair pointer for acting like a puppy.

That’s what South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem admitted to in graphic detail in her forthcoming book, which was obtained by the Guardian and has since sparked outrage even in Republican circles. But if your instinct is to give Noem the benefit of the doubt, which I initially did upon hearing about this story, I am here to tell you that her actions are far worse than I could have imagined.

In the passages obtained by the Guardian, Noem details a hunt gone wrong because the dog, Cricket, was “out of her mind with excitement, chasing all those birds and having the time of her life.” (To me, that behavior seems wholly appropriate for a puppy, especially when outdoors.) But things take a decidedly awful turn when Cricket attacks chickens belonging to a local family. From the Guardian:

Cricket the untrainable dog, Noem writes, behaved like “a trained assassin.”

When Noem finally grabbed Cricket, she says, the dog “whipped around to bite me.” Then, as the chickens’ owner wept, Noem repeatedly apologised, wrote the shocked family a check “for the price they asked, and helped them dispose of the carcasses littering the scene of the crime.”

Through it all, Noem says, Cricket was “the picture of pure joy.”

Noem had some options for what to do next. For example, she could’ve worked on training Cricket. Instead, after the chicken attack, Noem wrote she took the dog to a gravel pit and shot her. She described hating Cricket, whom she called a “less than worthless” hunting animal. 

Now, a wellness check: Are you horrified? Disgusted? Well, the South Dakota governor, who is reportedly on the shortlist for Donald Trump’s running mate, doesn’t appear to care. In fact, Noem seemed to relish the sudden attention as an opportunity to boost book sales. “If you want more real, honest, and politically INcorrect stories that’ll have the media gasping, preorder ‘No Going Back,'” she wrote on X.

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