Gov. Noem's VP chances diminished following revelation of her killing an 'untrainable' hunting dog

 April 27, 2024

Republican South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem has long been considered among the top contenders to be former President Donald Trump's vice-presidential candidate in November's election, but that status for the governor may have just been dramatically altered.

Controversy has erupted over Noem's admission in a forthcoming book that she felt compelled to put down an aggressive young hunting dog that she "hated" because it was "untrainable" and "dangerous" to others, according to leftist media outlet The New Republic.

The "unpleasant job" of killing the dog became necessary, she asserted, after it mauled several chickens owned by a family on whose land she had been hunting for pheasants.

"Untrainable" hunting dog attacked and killed chickens, tried to bite Noem

Gov. Noem will soon release a new book titled "No Going Back: The Truth on What's Wrong with Politics and How We Move America Forward."

The U.K.'s The Guardian obtained an advance copy of the book and highlighted a section in which the governor revealed how she'd had to put down a 14-month-old female wirehair pointer named Cricket that she had been trying to train as a hunting dog that had exhibited an "aggressive personality."

The fateful decision came when Noem took Cricket on a pheasant hunt with older dogs, hoping the young pup would follow the example of the others, only for it to ruin the hunt by "chasing all those birds and having the time of her life" and not responding to recall commands, including via an electronic collar.

Later, after calling off the unsuccessful hunt, the governor stopped by to visit with the family that owned the land, at which point the dog escaped from her truck and began to attack the family's chickens, "grabb[ing] one chicken at a time, crunching it to death with one bite, then dropping it to attack another," as if it were a "trained assassin."

Making matters worse for her, Noem recalled how Cricket "whipped around to bite me" when she was finally caught after mauling the chickens, which likely cemented the dog's fate.

Noem decided she "had to put her down"

The Guardian reported that Gov. Noem wrote about how she profusely apologized to the family and instantly paid them for the loss of their chickens, then "helped them dispose of the carcasses littering the scene of the crime."

"It was not a pleasant job, but it had to be done. And after it was over, I realized another unpleasant job needed to be done," she said of Cricket and her conclusion that she "had to put her down."

Noem wrote of how she "hated that dog" because it had proven itself to be "untrainable," "dangerous to anyone she came in contact with," and "less than worthless … as a hunting dog." As such, she took the dog to a gravel pit on her property and shot it, along with an unnamed and uncastrated male goat that was "mean and nasty" toward the other animals on her farm as well as her children, who it "loved to chase" and knock to the ground.

Whether in anticipation of or in response to the intense criticism that story received, Noem shared a link to The Guardian's article on her X account and stated, "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.'"

Controversy instantly impacted Noem's VP chances

According to Newsweek, the negative fallout from the excerpt from Gov. Noem's new book has resulted in a dramatic and almost instantaneous plunge in her chances to be named as former President Trump's running mate, at least according to Polymarket, an online betting platform that previously ranked Noem second in the VP race at 10%, trailing only Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC) at 22%.

When The Guardian's story was published on Friday, however, Noem immediately slipped to 5%, and by Saturday had fallen even further to just 3%, with the governor now sitting in fifth place behind Scott, still at 22%, followed by Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-NY) at 9%, and Sen. JD Vance (R-OH) and former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley, both of whom are tied at 6%.

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