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South Dakota Animal Shelter Expertly Shades Kristi Noem With Post About 'Untrainable Dogs'

Paws Animal Rescue shared a post about the 'untrainable dogs' they've encountered in response to the MAGA Governor's admission that she killed her 14-month-old puppy because it wasn't good at hunting and was too excitable.

Kristi Noem; Screenshot of post from Paws Animal Rescue
Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images; Paws Animal Rescue/Facebook

A South Dakota animal shelter had the perfect response to Governor Kristi Noem's admission that she killed her "untrainable" 14-month-old puppy, Cricket, because it wasn't good at hunting and was too excitable.

Noem laid out the decision to kill the dog in her forthcoming memoir No Going Back. She wrote that “Cricket was a wirehair pointer, about 14 months old" with an “aggressive personality." She said she "hated" the "untrainable" dog and decided to shoot Cricket after taking her to a gravel pit.

The disturbing anecdote first garnered attention after The Guardianreported on it, noting that Noem also wrote about killing a goat she claimed was "nasty and mean" and “loved to chase” Noem's children.

Noem has defended the decision to kill her dog, framing the story as an example of the grimmer aspects of farm life that sometimes have to be faced. She said she has "never passed on my responsibilities to anyone else to handle" and that she had simply "followed the law and was being a responsible parent, dog owner, and neighbor."

In response, Paws Animal Rescue, a shelter based in South Dakota’s capital city of Pierre, said that it had received many messages since Noem's admission—and provided expert shade while addressing the topic of "untrainable" dogs:

"PAWS Animal Rescue will not voice our opinion on this specific situation. We would however, like to make a statement on “untrainable dogs.” Our statement – “We haven’t met one yet. In all our years in animal rescue and the thousands of animals that have come through our door, we have yet to meet a dog that was so untrainable it deserved to be shot to death."

The organization then noted what can actually be done in the event that a dog has behavioral problems:

Have we met dogs that kill chickens? Of course. So we find them a home that doesn’t have chickens. Have we met dogs that don’t care for other dogs? Definitely. So we find them a home where they can be the sole canine companion."
"Have we met dogs that “go out of their mind with excitement”? For sure; especially puppies of just 14 months. So we teach them manners and how to behave in excitable situations."
"Have we met dogs that may need more training than the usual? Certainly! So we hire a professional trainer, put them into one-on-one foster care, or even send them to a training facility where they can receive the attention and direction they need."

Paws Animal Rescue also outlined how to respond should euthanasia be an appropriate option—while subtly condemning Noem's actions:

"Is euthanasia sometimes necessary? In certain situations, yes. When an animal is so sick that it’s quality of life is inhumane, then humane euthanasia may be the answer. When an animal has been so badly damaged by people or circumstances that it has demons it cannot overcome, sometimes maybe then too."
"When a 14-month-old puppy (who was almost certainly bought from a breeder at 8 weeks and had every opportunity to be taught the right way to behave), absolutely not."

In addition to including a link for anyone who would like to make a donation, the organization concluded with the following commitment:

"As donations in Cricket’s memory have flooded in today, we would like to let the public know that all contributions made to offset this tragedy will be set aside in a special fund to be utilized specifically for the training and rehabilitation of dogs that come into our care that are “untrainable”."

You can see the organization's post below.

Screenshot of post from Paws Animal RescuePaws Animal Rescue/Facebook

Many agreed that this was the appropriate response.

Screenshot of Connie Blair's postConnie Blair/Facebook

Screenshot of Candy Potter's postCandy Potter/Facebook

Screenshot of Todd Wilkinson's postTodd Wilkinson/Facebook

Screenshot of Jill Marie Paulson's postJill Marie Paulson/Facebook

Screenshot of Mary Schweigert's postMary Schweigert/Facebook

Others have criticized Noem more directly.


Noem's admission ignited a media storm that's threatened her viability as a potential running mate for former President Donald Trump. Political prognosticators believe the scandal and the resulting bipartisan outrage have potentially torpedoed her chances of being Trump's running mate.

Noem has pushed back against criticism, saying that she is not one to "shy away" from tough challenges. She added that she hopes those who read her book "will have an understanding that I always work to make the best decisions I can for the people in my life."

But even those in Trump's orbit have spoken out against her. Trump's eldest son, Donald Trump Jr., said Noem's admission was "not ideal" and suggested that Noem's "ghost writer must really not like you if they're gonna include that one."

Similarly, Steve Bannon, Trump's former White House chief strategist, said Noem had gone too far even for right-wingers and that Trump has other potential running mates to choose from.