Noem insists ‘I love dogs’ amid puppy-shooting controversy

Noem insists ‘I love dogs’ amid puppy-shooting controversy

South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem (R) stressed her affection for dogs on Monday, as she sought to defend herself against an onslaught of criticism and mockery over the revelation in a new book that many years ago, she shot an ill-behaved 14-month-old puppy.

In a Monday interview on “CBS Mornings,” Noem pressed on with the media tour for her new book “No Going Back,” which will be released on Tuesday.

“This was a dog that, I was its second chance. It had come to me from a family that had found her to be way too aggressive. I was a dog trainer, raised dogs,” she said in the interview.

“Oh, I love dogs,” Noem added, when asked. “Yeah, I have a dear dog named Foster right now that goes everywhere with me.”

The governor stressed that the decision to shoot Cricket, the aggressive hunting dog, was difficult for her. She also said the anecdote had been known among close political circles and she did not want it to be used against her down the road.

For months, Noem has been seen as a top contender for former President Trump’s 2024 running mate, but some pundits have speculated that the overwhelming backlash to the puppy story could have derailed her chances.

“This book is filled with painful, vulnerable stories. You know, and this story people have known for years, my political opponents have tried to use this story against me in previous campaigns. I wanted people to know the truth. And that’s why I put that in this book,” she said, adding that she killed the dog in a “humane manner.”

“The purpose of telling the story was so that people would know I don’t pass my responsibilities on to anybody else,” Noem said. “It was extremely hard for me and that’s clear when you read the story, that it was it was difficult decision for me. But when you have an animal that you, as a mom, you have to decide: Do I choose the safety of my children over an aggressive animal that attacks people? I chose as a mom for my children.”

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