South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem Shot and Killed Her Puppy, the Trump VP Candidate Reveals in New Book

"I hated that dog," Noem writes of the animal, calling her "dangerous to anyone she came in contact with"

Stephen Groves/AP/Shutterstock Kristi Noem
Stephen Groves/AP/Shutterstock Kristi Noem

South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem reveals in her forthcoming book that she once shot and killed one of her hunting dogs, saying she hated the "puppy," according to a report released Friday, April 26.

In the book, which The Guardian obtained a copy of and reviewed, Noem — who former President Donald Trump has said is on his short list for a running mate in 2024 — reflected on previously owning a female hunting dog named Cricket. The canine, a 14-month-old wire-haired pointer puppy, is noted by Noem to have an “aggressive personality."

While on a hunting trip with Cricket, instead of following Noem's direct commands, the dog had “the time of her life” going after birds in the woods, the excerpt says.

Despite attempts to control the animal with a shock collar and verbal cues, Noem says she had to give up on her hunt as she deemed Cricket too energetic and unfocused, according to The Guardian.

Polaris/SIPA/Shutterstock Kristi Noem
Polaris/SIPA/Shutterstock Kristi Noem

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While returning home from the failed hunt, Noem reportedly writes that she visited some locals who raised chickens. She claims that the dog attacked and killed the chickens before Noem was able to restrain her.

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Noem says that after paying for the chickens Cricket killed, she "realized I had to put her down," The Guardian reports.

“I hated that dog,” Noem says. She calls Cricket "untrainable" and claims she was “less than worthless as a hunting dog." Noem also claims that Cricket was "dangerous to anyone she came in contact with," according to The Guardian.

It was then, she writes, that she brought the dog to a gravel pit and shot and killed the puppy, startling a local construction crew.

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The governor also writes about another animal execution she conducted, The Guardian reported. She says she killed a “disgusting, musky, rancid” goat with a “nasty and mean" demeanor she claims "loved to chase" her children.

Noem apparently “dragged him to a gravel pit” — in a similar fashion to Cricket — and attempted to shoot him. Noem says that killing the animal took multiple attempts.

In the wake of the book excerpt being revealed, Noem, 52, addressed the animal's deaths on X (formerly Twitter).

“We love animals, but tough decisions like this happen all the time on a farm," she wrote. "Sadly, we just had to put down 3 horses a few weeks ago that had been in our family for 25 years. If you want more real, honest and politically INcorrect stories that’ll have the media gasping, preorder ‘No Going Back.' "

A rep for the Center Street imprint of Hachette Book Group, the book's publisher, and the governor's office did not immediately respond to PEOPLE's request for comments.

Noem was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 2010. She became the first female governor of South Dakota in 2018, and was re-elected in 2022. Noem has become a controversial far-right figure in recent years and has publicly endorsed Trump for re-election. Trump has had Noem appear at various fundraisers and campaign rallies for him, and has called her "a warrior for American values." 

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