Noem Cops to Killing Dog, Goat After Hunt Gone Wrong

South Dakota governor says they're examples of 'tough decisions' of life on a farm
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 26, 2024 2:23 PM CDT
Noem Cops to Killing Dog, Goat After Hunt Gone Wrong
South Dakota Republican Gov. Kristi Noem speaks July 16, 2021, in Des Moines, Iowa.   (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall, File)

Kristi Noem's new book is out next week, and contained within its pages is what Forbes deems a most "bizarre admission." No Going Back: The Truth on What's Wrong With Politics and How We Move America Forward is due out May 7, but a couple of interesting passages are already circulating, thanks to an advance copy the Guardian got its hands on.

  • Taking out her dog: Not taking it outside for a walk—but really "taking it out," which is what Noem did when the 14-month-old female wirehair pointer named Cricket was acting up one day during a pheasant hunt. Noem writes that the "aggressive" and "untrainable" dog marred the entire hunt by "having the time of her life" and scaring all the birds away.
  • Escalating scene: After using an electronic collar to try to calm Cricket down, Noem writes that the dog also attacked and killed a family friend's chicken, then bit Noem. "At that moment, I realized I had to put her down," Noem writes, detailing how she then led Cricket to a gravel pit, where she killed her, adding, "I hated that dog."

  • And a goat: After she killed the dog, Noem writes that she realized "another unpleasant job" had to be carried out: killing an uncastrated, "nasty and mean" goat on their farm that smelled awful and chased her kids around. She notes that she hauled the goat out to the pit and shot it, though it took a couple of tries.
  • Her rationale: She writes in the book that she told this tale to show she's able to do the "difficult, messy, and ugly" jobs that need doing, in politics and in life. She added: "I guess if I were a better politician I wouldn't tell the story here."
  • Reaction: The internet exploded after the passages went viral, with most people expressing dismay. "Jeffrey Dahmer with veneers," former Obama staffer Tommy Vietor wrote on X.
  • Noem's response: The governor, said to be in the running as Donald Trump's VP, is now responding to the backlash. "We love animals, but tough decisions like this happen all the time on a farm," she posted on X. "Sadly, we just had to put down 3 horses a few weeks ago that had been in our family for 25 years."
(More Kristi Noem stories.)

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