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Kristi Noem's Puppy-Killing Story Was Cut From Her 2022 Memoir Because Her Team Predicted Political Fallout: Report

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Noem faced backlash over writing about killing her 14-month-old puppy in the memoir.

May 6 2024, Published 7:30 p.m. ET

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South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem's now-infamous puppy-killing story almost made it into her first book, but her team talked her out of including it in the 2022 project, has learned.

Noem was hit with backlash after telling the disturbing tale in her forthcoming memoir, No Going Back. The self-described "mom and rancher" wrote about how she once shot a 14-month-old wirehair pointer named Cricket on her family farm. She said the puppy had an "aggressive personality" and killed a neighbor's chickens.

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The story was met with outrage from both sides of the aisle, despite the Republican governor explaining that she included the story in the book as an example of her ability to make difficult decisions.

Politico reported on Monday that the disturbing anecdote was included in a draft of in her first memoir, Not My First Rodeo, but two people involved in the project told the outlet that her publishing team took it out.

Agents, editors, and publicists at Hachette Book Group’s imprint, Twelve, as well as a ghostwriter, reportedly foresaw the fallout that would ensue from publicizing the story.

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Noem was ruthlessly mocked on Fox News after she canceled her appearance with Greg Gutfeld last minute.

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"In other words, they produced a typical pre-campaign book, where the first rule is to do no harm," Politico reported. The book went on to earn a spot on the New York Times bestseller list and Noem, a Donald Trump ally, has since been seen as having a promising future in the GOP.

However, her puppy-killing mention in No Going Back, first revealed by The Guardian, has launched the governor's reputation into a downward spiral. reported that Fox News pundits criticized Noem for including the story, and condemned her actions as both heartless and professionally damaging.

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Former GOP Congressman Jason Chaffetz told Fox Business anchor Ash Webster last Monday that he felt Noem had "destroyed her political career."

"I don’t think there’s anybody on any side of the aisle, any human being that thinks it’s acceptable to go to a gravel pit and shoot a dog in the face and kill it when it’s 14 months old," Chaffetz asserted. "That’s. I mean, that’s just hideous."

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Donald Trump defended Kristi Noem after saying he was 'disgusted' by dog killing story.

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Noem posted to X in defense of her past actions last Sunday, admitting that while she "can understand why some people are upset," she "followed the law and was being a responsible parent, dog owner, and neighbor."

"The fact is, South Dakota law states that dogs who attack and kill livestock can be put down," she wrote. "Given that Cricket had shown aggressive behavior toward people by biting them, I decided what I did."

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The governor said that "it wasn't easy," but added that "often the easy way isn't the right way."

"Whether running the ranch of in politics, I have never passed on my responsibilities to anyone else to handle," Noem continued, "Even if it's hard and painful."

She said that "people are looking for leaders who are authentic, willing to learn from the past, and don't shy away from tough challenges."

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"My hope is anyone reading this book will have an understanding that I always work to make the best decisions I can for the people in my life," Noem wrote.

Her book is scheduled to be released on May 7.



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