Kristi Noem Responds to Backlash About Her Dog-Killing Story in Memoir


South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem (R) is proof that a hit dog will holler even when a dead dog can’t.

After public backlash ensued from her recounting of killing her 14-month-old hunting dog, Cricket — whom she called “untrainable” and explicitly said she hated — Noem doubled down Sunday, saying the dog aggressively attacked livestock and people.

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

Noem shared the story of her dog-killing in her forthcoming memoir No Going Back: The Truth on What’s Wrong With Politics and How We Move America Forward. It was reviewed by The Guardian where details of the incident were first divulged.

Despite Cricket showcasing an “aggressive” personality, Noem said she got the pointer dog to use for hunting pheasant. However, failures to tame Cricket reached a climax when Noem said Cricket killed multiple chickens during a home visit with some fellow South Dakotans.

“At that moment […] I realized I had to put her down,” Noem wrote.

Cricket was summarily placed in a gravel pit and shot in front of a nearby construction crew. Noem said the decision was “not easy” Sunday, but felt it was the “best decision” for the situation.


“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,” Noem said. “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.”

Noem’s extreme solution to her Cricket problem was parodied by her fellow elected officials, with Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz and Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, both Democrats, sharing photos with their dogs that were captioned: “Post a picture with your dog that doesn’t involve shooting them and throwing them in a gravel pit.”

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