South Dakota Gov. Noem Defends Decision to Kill Dog

South Dakota Gov. Noem Defends Decision to Kill Dog
South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem speaks at the America First Policy Institute in Washington on Feb. 15, 2023. (Madalina Vasiliu/The Epoch Times)

South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem defended a 20-year-old decision to kill her farm dog after online criticism from rival politicians.

Ms. Noem described shooting her “dangerous” dog in her new book, excerpts of which were published by The Guardian. She received criticism from Democratic governors who posted photos with their pets to tease her.

In the book’s excerpt, Ms. Noem described shooting and killing her 14-month-old wire-haired pointer due to bad behavior.

“I can understand why some people are upset about a 20 year old story of Cricket, one of the working dogs at our ranch, in my upcoming book—No Going Back,” Mr. Noem wrote Sunday on the social platform X. “The book is filled with many honest stories of my life, good and bad days, challenges, painful decisions, and lessons learned.”

Ms. Noem said the dog ruined a hunt and later attacked chickens owned by a local family. She said the dog behaved like a “trained assassin” and was “dangerous to anyone she came in contact with.”

“I realized I had to put her down,” she writes.

She then led the dog to a gravel pit and shot it down, saying it was “not a pleasant job,” but it “had to be done.”

Ms. Noem also said she killed a “nasty and mean” male goat that smelled and liked to chase her children.

Ms. Noem defended her decision saying it shows she is “authentic, willing to learn from the past, and [doesn’t] shy away from tough challenges.”

“The fact is, South Dakota law states that dogs who attack and kill livestock can be put down,” she wrote. “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,” Ms. Noem said.

The Democratic National Committee seized on the excerpts, calling them “horrifying” and “disturbing,” and tried to make a 2024 election argument about the shooting of the animals.

Responding on X, Ms. Noem said: “We love animals, but tough decisions like this happen all the time on a farm. Sadly, we just had to put down 3 horses a few weeks ago that had been in our family for 25 years.”

Ms. Noem is on a list of candidates being considered by former President Donald Trump to be his vice presidential running mates. President Trump faces a general election rematch with President Joe Biden on Nov. 5.

Reuters contributed to this report.

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