Puppy-Killer Kristi Noem: Shooting Cricket Was Totally Legal

Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images
Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images

South Dakota governor Kristi Noem has released a new statement in response to the outrage that followed her unprovoked admission that she once shot a dog she “hated” because she couldn’t train it to be obedient.

The former VP hopeful said she was just following the law and “being a responsible parent, dog owner, and neighbor” by killing the pup execution-style.

“The fact is, South Dakota law states that dogs who attack and kill livestock can be put down. Given that Cricket had shown aggressive behavior toward people by biting them, I decided what I did,” Noem wrote on X Sunday afternoon.

She even tried to score some brownie points for her honesty and for her leadership skills.

“What I learned from my years of public service, especially leading South Dakota through COVID, is people are looking for leaders who are authentic, willing to learn from the past, and don’t shy away from tough challenges,” she continued. During the pandemic, Noem was a notorious anti-masker and claimed people who have had the disease don’t need vaccines, decisions criticized by public health researchers and federal judges alike as “irresponsible” and “dangerous.”

“My hope is anyone reading this book will have an understanding that I always work to make the best decisions I can for the people in my life,” she added.

In her book, an advance copy of which was obtained by The Guardian, Noem reportedly describes the dog as “untrainable” and “dangerous” because it had tried to bite her and had killed a neighbor’s chickens.

“I hated that dog,” Noem reportedly writes.

The governor initially tried to lean into the right’s embrace of political incorrectness, trying to spin the puppy-killing report into a promo for her book. “If you want more real, honest, and politically INcorrect stories that’ll have the media gasping, preorder ‘No Going Back,’” she wrote on Friday.

But that didn’t fly with members of her own party, who didn’t hesitate to pile on her.

“You can recover from a lot of things in politics, change the narrative etc.—but not from killing a dog,” Meghan McCain wrote on X. “All I will distinctly think about Kristi Noem now is that she murdered a puppy who was ‘acting up’±which is obviously cruel and insane.”

Alyssa Farrah Griffith, former Trump administration comms director, said Noem’s story was actually proof that she was an irresponsible dog owner, not a leader capable of making “painful decisions.”

“A 14-month old dog is still a puppy & can be trained. A large part of bad behavior in dogs is not having proper training from the humans responsible for them,” Griffith wrote on X.

There are apparent limits to the kind of “political incorrectness” the right tolerate—and if Noem’s latest response was an attempt to salvage what’s left of her bid for Trump VP, it appears to have fallen short with Republicans.

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