Kristi Noem defends controversial decision to shoot her dog: ‘I can understand why some people are upset’


Kristi Noem, the Governor of South Dakota, recently stirred controversy with a story she shares in her upcoming book, “No Going Back: The Truth on What’s Wrong with Politics and How We Move America Forward.” In the book, she recounts a difficult decision she made many years ago to euthanize her 14-month-old dog, Cricket. While some people have criticized her actions as inhumane, Noem defends her decision, stating that it was necessary at the time.

Noem acknowledges the backlash surrounding the story but emphasizes that her book is filled with honest accounts of her life, including both good and bad moments. She explains that the purpose of sharing such personal stories is to provide insight into her experiences and the challenges she has faced. Despite the criticism, she stands by her actions and hopes that readers will understand her perspective.

In her book, Noem describes Cricket as having an aggressive personality and exhibiting dangerous behavior, particularly towards livestock. She recalls an incident where Cricket attacked a family’s group of chickens, prompting her to take action. Despite her efforts to control the dog, including grabbing her collar, Cricket remained uncontrollable and even attempted to bite Noem.

Feeling that she had no other option, Noem made the difficult decision to euthanize Cricket. She describes the process as unpleasant but necessary, given the circumstances. Noem also shares another instance where she had to euthanize a goat that posed a threat to her family. Both decisions, she explains, were made out of a sense of responsibility and necessity.

Noem compares these tough choices to the difficult decisions that leaders often have to make. She acknowledges that dealing with such situations can be messy and unpleasant, but emphasizes the importance of taking responsibility for one’s actions. Despite the criticism she has faced, Noem stands by her decisions, stating that she followed the law and acted in the best interest of her family and community.

In response to the backlash, Noem reaffirms her commitment to animal welfare and responsible decision-making. She explains that South Dakota law allows for dogs that attack and kill livestock to be euthanized, and she believes that she made the right decision based on the circumstances. Additionally, she shares that she recently had to euthanize three horses that had been part of her family for many years, further illustrating the difficult realities of farm life.

Overall, Kristi Noem’s story serves as a reminder of the tough choices that individuals, particularly those living in rural areas, may face. While her decision to euthanize her dog may be controversial, it sheds light on the complexities of animal ownership and the challenges of balancing personal responsibility with compassion. Despite the criticism she has faced, Noem remains steadfast in her belief that she acted in accordance with the law and in the best interest of her family and community.


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