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Fury after potential Trump vice president Kristi Noem admits to killing a puppy

South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem admitted to killing her family dog in her new book.

South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem admitted to killing her family dog in her new book. Photo: Getty

In a divided America, Kristi Noem’s admission she murdered her puppy has helped both sides of politics find common ground.

Noem is South Dakota’s Governor, and she is a contender to become Republican Donald Trump’s US vice presidential running mate.

She also has a book coming out in May.

Before the book’s release, The Guardian obtained a copy and revealed one particularly chilling story that happened on Noem’s family farm.

In her memoir, No Going Back: The Truth on What’s Wrong with Politics and How We Move America Forward, Noem describes killing an “untrainable” dog called Cricket which she “hated”.

On a hunt, the 14-month-old puppy behaved like a puppy, or in Noem’s words, like a “trained assassin”, spoiling the occasion by going “out of her mind with excitement, chasing all those birds and having the time of her life”.

After the hunt, Noem stopped to speak with a local family and Cricket then escaped the politician’s truck and attacked the family’s chicken.

Former US president and 2024 Republican Presidential hopeful Donald Trump and South Dakota Governor, Kristi Noem hug on stage during the South Dakota Republican Party's Monumental Leaders rally at the Ice Arena at the Monument in Rapid City, South Dakota,

Kristi Noem is rumoured to be among those he is considering to be his running mate in 2024. Photo: Getty

Cricket allegedly grabbed a chicken by the neck and was “crunching it to death” and then went to attack another.

Noem said when she went to grab the puppy, it tried to bite her, as the local family cried about the chicken.

Describing her hatred for the dog, Noem reportedly writes that Cricket was “dangerous” and “less than worthless”.

“I realised I had to put her down,” Noem wrote, before describing how she took Cricket to a gravel pit and shot her.

She also described how she killed a “nasty and mean” goat that had knocked over her children.

Apparently, these stories were meant to show Noem’s willingness to do what needs to be done in politics, even if they are “difficult, messy and ugly”.

Conservatives take aim at Kristi Noem

People all across the political spectrum were not too pleased at Noem for killing a dog, without considering training Cricket or rehoming her.

A poll from New River Strategies found 81 per cent of Americans disapprove of Noem killing Cricket.

Among those who were critical of Noem was conservative and former Trump White House staffer turned critic Alyssa Farah Griffin.

“A 14-month-old dog is still a puppy and can be trained. A large part of bad behaviour in dogs is not having proper training from humans,” she wrote on X.

Sarah Matthews was the deputy press secretary during Trump’s presidency but distanced herself from him after January 6.

On X, she said when she first saw posts about Noem “murdering her puppy”, she thought another VP contender “found some oppo” and then she realised the governor wrote the book herself.

“I’m not sure why anyone would brag about this unless they’re sick and twisted,” she said.

The Lincoln Project, a centrist group comprised of Republicans and conservatives against Trump, said Noem can add “puppy killer” to her resume.

One of the group’s founders, Rick Wilson, said Noem was “trash”.

“Puppies need slow exposure to birds, and bird scent,” he said.

“She killed a puppy because she was lazy at training bird dogs, not because it was a bad dog.”

Although there has been considerable backlash aimed at Noem from conservatives or Republicans, some on the right are trying make parallels between what she did to Cricket and women getting abortions.

Kristi Noem responds

In a lengthy post on X, Noem tried to justify the killing of Cricket, by saying the laws in South Dakota allow dogs who attack and kill livestock to be put down.

“Whether running the ranch or in politics, I have never passed on my responsibilities to anyone else to handle,” she wrote.

“Even if it’s hard and painful. I followed the law and was being a responsible parent, dog owner, and neighbour.”

Trump is yet to announce who his running mate will be and it’s hard to say if the death of Cricket will be the death of Noem’s VP dreams.

However, it seems Trump has read her memoir, as he apparently deemed it to be a “great new book” that tells a “hard-hitting story of a very interesting life”.

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