Kristi Noem Faces Backlash Over Killing Her Own Dog (2024)

South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem, a Republican and reported contender for Donald Trump’s Vice President pick in the 2024 election, has received pushback after admitting to killing her dog in her new memoir.

After obtaining a copy of No Going Back: The Truth on What’s Wrong with Politics and How We Move America Forward ahead of its publication next month, the Guardian reported that Noem wrote she shot dead Cricket, a 14-month-old dog she had intended to train for hunting pheasant, after the canine ruined a hunt, killed another family’s chickens, and moved to bite her.

Noem said Cricket had an “aggressive personality” and was “untrainable,” per the Guardian’s report. Noem took Cricket on a pheasant hunt with older dogs to try to teach the canine, but Cricket went “out of her mind with excitement, chasing all those birds and having the time of her life.”

She said she called Cricket, then used an electronic collar to try to control the dog. On the way home, Cricket escaped Noem’s truck and killed the chickens of a local family, who Noem compensated. The dog then “whipped around to bite me,” the politician wrote.

After that, Noem said, “I realized I had to put her down.” She led Cricket to a gravel pit and shot and killed the dog.

Noem also killed a male goat that she said was “nasty and mean,” smelled “disgusting, musky, rancid,” and “loved to chase” her children, knocking them down and ruining their clothes. She also killed the goat in the gravel pit, although it reportedly took two shots.

Noem said she told the story about Cricket to show that in politics and life, she was willing to do what was “difficult, messy, and ugly” if it was necessary.

The backlash from Democrats and conservatives alike has been swift. Rick Wilson, who co-founded the anti-Trump PAC The Lincoln Project, criticized on X, formerly Twitter, that Noem “killed a puppy because she was lazy at training bird dogs, not because it was a bad dog.” The Lincoln Project released an ad that said when tough moments come with pets, “shooting your dog in the face is not an option.”

Noem responded to the backlash on Friday in a post on X: “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.”

“If you want more real, honest, and politically INcorrect stories that’ll have the media gasping, preorder No Going Back,” she concluded, with a link to her book.

With interest in Noem at an all-time high, here’s what you need to know about the U.S. politician.

Who is Kristi Noem?

Noem is the 33rd—and first female—governor of South Dakota, whose motto is “Under God, the People Rule.”

The 52-year-old was born in Watertown, S.D. She’s spoken about how she took on more responsibilities on her family’s farm after her father died in a farming accident. She attended Mount Marty College and Northern State University. She later graduated with a bachelor’s degree in political science from South Dakota State University in 2011, according to VoteSmart.

Noem is a rancher, farmer, small business owner, and published author, according to her official biography. She joined the South Dakota House of Representatives in 2007, where she served as assistant majority leader, and then the U.S. House of Representatives in 2011. She was elected as governor in 2018 and re-elected in 2022.

Kristi Noem’s husband, children, and grandchildren

Noem is married to Bryon. His First Gentleman biography says he grew up on a farm near Bryant, S.D., graduated from Northern State University with a degree in business and finance, has operated an insurance agency, and coached basketball. The couple went to high school together and have jointly run a farm and ranch, opened an ice cream shop, and helped manage a family restaurant, according to their biographies.

They have three children—Kassidy, Kennedy, and Booker. Kassidy Peters is married and has two children, according to her X profile. Peters was a real estate appraiser, but turned in her license and dissolved her business in 2021, according to a letter she wrote. A report approved by South Dakota lawmakers in 2022 found that Peters got preferential treatment in her application to get the license, the Associated Press reported.

Her husband, Kyle Peters, is in local politics and was elected to the City Council of Watertown, S.D. last year. He previously worked for his mother-in-law in the Governor’s Office of Economic Development from 2019 to 2021, according to his LinkedIn and news reports.

Kennedy Frick is also married and works as an account executive for an oil and gas consulting firm, according to her LinkedIn. Frick worked for her mother in the Governor’s office from Jan. 2019 to Aug. 2020, when she left to get her masters in business administration, according to her LinkedIn and news reports.

Booker is currently listed on the website of Collision Ministries, a Christian student organization, as the Watertown Area Director. His biography says he previously attended a Christian training school in Hawaii and worked in a ministry in San Francisco.

What is Kristi Noem’s net worth?

Noem’s precise net worth is unknown. OpenSecrets estimated her net worth at $2.3 million in 2017. pegged it at around $4.5 million in 2021.

More From TIME

Kristi Noem Faces Backlash Over Killing Her Own Dog (2024)


What is the backlash on Kristi Noem? ›

Noem was already reeling from near-universal backlash against her disclosure in the book that she shot and killed a dog named Cricket and a billy goat years ago — the dog for its failures on a hunting excursion and its attacks on a neighbor's chickens, and the goat for chasing after Noem's children and smelling bad.

What happened to Cricket the dog? ›

Kristi Noem proudly proclaimed she shot her adolescent dog Cricket because of unruly behavior, I flashed back to hearing similar stories from our founders who shared about some of the public enacting the same fate upon their dogs.

What breed was Cricket the dog? ›

Kristi Noem, facing criticism for a story in her new book about killing her dog, suggested that President Biden should do the same with his former dog, Commander. In her book, Noem writes about killing her dog, a 14-month-old wirehaired pointer named Cricket after the dog had shown aggressive behavior.

What nationality is Kristi Noem? ›

Who did Kristi Noem run against for governor? ›

The 2022 South Dakota gubernatorial election took place on November 8, 2022, electing the governor of South Dakota. Incumbent Republican governor Kristi Noem defeated Democratic nominee Jamie Smith to win a second term.

How many terms has Kristi Noem been governor? ›

Noem was reelected to a third term, defeating Democrat Corinna Robinson, 67–33 percent.

What did Cricket the dog do? ›

The crime of animal cruelty

Cricket killed a neighbor's chickens and “whipped around to bite” Noem when she intervened; therefore, by Noem's logic, her killing of Cricket was legally defensible. She's probably right, legally speaking.

How old was Cricket the dog? ›

Since Gov. Kristi Noem's disclosure of her farmyard killing spree, everybody's been focused on Cricket. That's understandable. Cricket was a 14-month-old dog.

Is Cricket a cat or a dog? ›

The Binding of Isaac: Rebirth item “Cricket's Head” was originally called “Max's Head" in the original flash version of the game. The name was changed to better reflect Edmund McMillen's real cat, Cricket, as Edmund himself never owned a pet dog named “Max.”

What breed was Kristi Noem's dog she shot? ›

Cricket, the 14-month-old wirehair pointer she shot, was not a “puppy” but a “working dog” (in fact, South Dakota dog trainer Dan Griffith says that “a dog's not mature until they're two years old” and won't be “a good hunter or a great dog until they're, like, three or four years old”)

What dog breed is Pluto? ›

“We needed a bloodhound. Pluto got the part and turned out so well, we used him twice.” Yes, there were two bloodhounds in what is considered to be Pluto's first film. These “blood brothers” so pleased Walt that he decided to cast this canine as a fully licensed member for Mickey's stable—make that kennel—of stars.

What is the Hyperest dog in the world? ›

Border Collie. Last but possibly the most energetic dog, the Border Collie is a cross between the most extreme athlete trainer you will ever find and Einstein! Trainable, clever, active and highly driven, these are dogs who need to use their brains and their bodies to stay healthy and happy.

Is South Dakota a good place to live? ›

Low cost of living: South Dakota is known for its low cost of living, making it an ideal destination for retirees who want to stretch their retirement savings and live comfortably without breaking the bank. The state also has no state income tax and low property taxes.

What does the name Noem mean? ›

noem (present noem, present participle noemende, past participle genoem) to call, to name. to mention.

What is the state motto of South Dakota? ›

Properly divided between the upper and lower edges of the circle shall appear the legend, "Under God the People Rule," which shall be the motto of the State of South Dakota.

What happened to the dog in underdog? ›

Does the dog die? No, though there is a fakeout death at about an hour, eleven minutes and forty seconds in where the titular Underdog appears to have died, his owner picking up his unconscious body and sobbing. He does quickly reveal himself to be alive, but it can be a distressing image.

What happened to the dogs in the movie dog? ›

“Interestingly enough, all three of the dogs now are fully bonded with their trainers and they've all been adopted out and they have these wonderful lives in different parts of country,” Carolin said. “It's a real cool, happy ending for each of the dogs, and they're best friends with their trainers.”

Was dog Gone true? ›

The feel-good film is based on a true story about one family's quest to find their son's lost dog. Johnny Berchtold and Rob Lowe star in the film about a recent college grad desperate to find his missing dog.

What disease did the dog gone kid have? ›

there is a scene where gonker has to go to the vet and he is diagnosed with addison's disease. another dog, oji, is implied to have died in a car accident but the death is not shown.


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