Who is Kristi Noem? The Trump VP contender who admitted to killing her own dog

South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem, potentially in the running for Donald Trump's vice presidential pick, is facing severe backlash over revelations of killing a dog and a goat in her upcoming memoir.

Kristi Noem dog killing goat killing memoir Republican Vice Presidential candidate Donald Trump US election 2024 South Dakota Governor
© Ting Shen/Getty_Images
Kristi Noem dog killing goat killing memoir Republican Vice Presidential candidate Donald Trump US election 2024 South Dakota Governor

TW: mentions of violence.

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Donald Trump’s political campaign may not be going as well as he would like it to. This comes as his top pick for a running mate - Kristi Noem - is facing severe backlash for the revelations she has made in her upcoming memoir. Kristi’s book No Going Back: The Truth on What’s Wrong with Politics and How We Move America Forward will be published in the States next month.

However, publications like The Guardian have already obtained a copy and have highlighted the issue of the presumptive Republican nominee Kristi Noem killing her own dog and a goat. This gruesome recounting of how she killed her dog may have also killed her hopes of being the running mate for Donald Trump - the first ever US president to be on trial on criminal charges.

Kristi Noem and the death of Cricket - everything we know about the incident

According to reports, Kristi took matters into her own hands when her female dog Cricket—a 14-month-old wirehair pointer—killed her neighbour’s chickens. Kristi emphasises in her book that the dog had an ‘aggressive personality’ and needed to be trained to be used for hunting pheasant. She then goes into how she made the decision to put down the dog she ‘hated.’

Cricket was an ‘untrainable dog’ but behaved like 'a trained assassin,’ writes Kristi as she recalls the incident that took place 20 years ago. By taking Cricket on a pheasant hunt with older dogs, she hoped to calm the young dog down and begin to teach her how to behave.

Unfortunately, Cricket had her own plans and ruined the hunt with her excitement. She ended up chasing all the birds and having the ‘time of her life.’

Kristi attempted to control Cricket by using an electronic collar but to no avail. The final icing on the cake was when Cricket killed her neighbour’s chickens on her way back home. Kristi recalls how Cricket ‘grabb[ed] one chicken at a time, crunching it to death with one bite, then dropping it to attack another.’ When she tried to stop her, the dog ‘whipped around to bite’ her.

At this moment, Kristi decided to put the dog down. She led Cricket to a gravel pit and shot her. The former Congress representative also killed an unnamed, un-castrated and unruly goat after Cricket.

Kristi’s motive behind recalling the story in her memoir was to illustrate her willingness, in politics as well as in South Dakota life. She wanted to showcase that she could do anything ‘difficult, messy and ugly’ if it simply needed to be done. She 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.

However, the admission of killing not one but two animals has backfired for the Republican vice-presidential candidate.

How has Kristi Noem’s killing dog story backfired?

According to The Guardian, the South Dakota governor may have committed a class two misdemeanour offence when Cricket killed a neighbour’s chickens. Under South Dakota law:

Any person owning, keeping, or harbouring a dog that chases, worries, injures, or kills any poultry or domestic animal is guilty of a class two misdemeanour and is liable for damages to the owner thereof for any injury caused by the dog to any such poultry or animal.

Kristi claims that she killed the dog on her own property and also wrote a check to the neighbours for the damages called.

On another serious front, the news hasn’t gone down well with the Republicans. A Trumpworld source said that Kristi had ‘a very slight shot before’ of being Trump’s running mate but after this revelation, it is ‘less than zero now,’ as per the The Daily Beast. The source added:

A vice president is chosen to solve problems and add real value. A proven gaffe machine does neither.

Sources close to Trump's campaign are ‘fixated on the ads that would run if she were anywhere involved with President Trump’s campaign.’ They said:

I mean, this stuff is devastating. There’s nothing more popular in politics than dogs, and she killed one—and she continues to talk about it… That’s what’s baffling and shows out-of-control judgement.

The Republican presidential candidate is himself facing a trial over Stormy Daniels hush money case.

Who is Kristi Noem?

Kristi is the governor of South Dakota, but that's not the only job she has. The politician is also a rancher, farmer, author, and small business owner. As reported by USA Today, she was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 2010. She went on to make history in the state after becoming South Dakota's very first female governer in 2018.

Amongst her many political successes, Noem has often says that her biggest accomplishment in life has been 'raising her three children'. Kristi Noem has been married to her husband Bryon for over 30 years and they are parents to Kassidy, Kennedy, and Booker.

Her explosive memoir coming out in May is not her first book either. The 52-year-old is also a New York Times best-selling author. In January 2022, she published her first book, Not My First Rodeo: Lessons from the Heartland. In the same year, she was then re-elected as the governor with the ‘largest vote total in the history of South Dakota.’

The big political strides she made was well after the violent incident with her dog. According to the politician, it happened 20 years ago. To be precise, The Guardian places it back to 2004, three years before she entered South Dakota state politics.

Her political successes may have been undermined by her memoir as a recent poll from New River Strategies has revealed that only 14% of Americans consider her to be a good choice for the Republican ticket. The report adds that 86% of 2020 Trump - whose son may go to NYU - voters like or love dogs and 39% of them do not believe that she would be a good choice for Vice President.

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Sources Used

The Guardian: Trump VP contender Kristi Noem writes of killing dog – and goat – in new book

The Guardian: Kristi Noem’s story of killing her dog points to class two misdemeanor

The Daily Beast: Kristi Noem Killed Her Dog—and Committed ‘Political Suicide’

USA Today: Who is Kristi Noem? What we know about the Trump VP contender and why she killed a dog


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