Kristi Noem in Hot Water for Animal Cruelty Admission

( – South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem took heavy criticism on social media and made headlines after she admitted in her new book to shooting a misbehaving dog on her ranch when the dog killed her neighbor’s chickens and snapped at her and others.

Noem responded to the public reaction by saying that she understood why some were upset by the story of Cricket, a 14-month-old working dog at her ranch that was put down by the governor over 20 years ago. Noem featured the story in her upcoming book, which she said is “filled with many honest stories” about her life, including good days and bad days, as well as “challenges, painful decisions, and lessons learned.”

The controversy began after Noem shared an excerpt from her new memoir, “No Going Back,” which comes out on Tuesday, May 7th. That excerpt told a story of her family’s wirehaired pointer that killed chickens from a neighboring family’s flock when the family came back from a hunting trip in which Noem was training the dog to hunt pheasant.

The governor argues that the dog was a lost cause when it came to training and that although it wasn’t “a pleasant job” to shoot the animal, “it had to be done.” She said that afterward, she “realized another unpleasant job” on her ranch had to be done, proceeding to kill a goat described as “nasty and mean.”

Regarding the dog, she said it was not the first time Cricket showed aggression and that he had even attacked humans before. Noem maintains that South Dakota law states that dogs can be put down for attacking and killing livestock. After the dog killed the chickens, she decided to take action, considering this alongside the dog’s past behavior, noting the animal became a legal liability and a danger to her children.

Democratic lawmakers immediately pounced on the opportunity to drag Noem, calling her cold and heartless, and responded by posting pictures of themselves with their dogs. She even received criticism from Republicans, some of whom also found her handling of the situation distasteful.

Some of her defenders argued that her critics did not understand the difference between working dogs and dogs that are simply pets, claiming that Noem’s actions were not uncommon for people who run farms and ranches.

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