South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem Faces Criticism After Revealing She Killed Her Dog in a New Memoir

South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem, a Republican and potential candidate for Donald Trump’s Vice President in the 2024 election, has received criticism after revealing in her new memoir that she killed her dog.

Following excerpts from No Going Back: The Truth on What’s Wrong with Politics and How We Move America Forward being published ahead of its release next month, the Guardian reported that Noem wrote about shooting dead Cricket, her 14-month-old dog that she had aimed to train for hunting pheasant, after the canine ruined a hunt, killed chickens belonging to another family, and moved to bite her.

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

She said she called Cricket, then used an electronic collar trying to control the dog. On the way home, Cricket escaped Noem’s truck and killed the chickens of a local family, which 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 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, “shooting your dog in the face is not an option.”

Noem responded to the backlash on Friday: “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 helped 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,

Noem is a rancher, farmer, small business owner, and published author, according to 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 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 Peters was a real estate appraiser, but turned in her license and dissolved her business in 2021, A report approved by South Dakota lawmakers in 2022 found that Peters got preferential treatment in her application to get the license,

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

Kennedy Frick is also married and works as an account executive for an oil and gas consulting firm, . 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 .

Booker is currently listed on the 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. estimated her net worth at $2.3 million in 2017. pegged it at around $4.5 million in 2021.