Trump’s potential running mate continues to defend shooting dead ‘extremely dangerous’ puppy

US

A potential running mate for Donald Trump in the US election has continued to defend shooting dead her family’s puppy after saying the animal was “extremely dangerous”.

South Dakota governor Kristi Noem has told Fox News the 14-month-old wirehair pointer, who was named Cricket, was a “working dog” and “not a puppy”.

She said in the interview that the female dog had “come to us from a family who had found her way too aggressive”, adding that the animal had “massacred” a neighbour’s livestock on the day she shot it dead around 20 years ago.

The Republican governor continued: “At the time, I had small children, a lot of small kiddos that worked around our business and people, and I wanted to make sure that they were safe.”

Ms Noem, who is being vetted as the Republican candidate for vice president in this year’s US election, also said the dog was “extremely dangerous”.

The account of Ms Noem killing the wirehair pointer was first reported by The Guardian last week after it obtained a copy of her book, named No Going Back: The Truth On What’s Wrong With Politics And How We Move America Forward, which is due for release this month.

She has since defended her behaviour multiple times.

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The mother-of-three writes in her book that she had taken Cricket on a bird hunting trip with older dogs in the hopes of calming her down.

However, she claims the dog attacked a family’s chickens and then “whipped around to bite me”.

Ms Noem says she therefore led the dog to a gravel pit and shot it dead.

Political rivals have criticised Ms Noem since the story emerged as experts who work with hunting dogs said she could have trained the animal rather than killing it.

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Image:
Kristi Noem and Donald Trump embrace at a campaign rally in South Dakota. Pic: AP

Democratic Minnesota governor Tim Walz posted on X: “Post a picture with your dog that doesn’t involve shooting them and throwing them in a gravel pit. I’ll start.”

The post included a photo of him feeding ice cream off a spoon to his Labrador mix named Scout.

Meanwhile, President Joe Biden’s re-election campaign has shared a photo of the US leader strolling on the White House lawn with one of his three German Shepherds.

Mr Biden’s dogs that have reportedly bitten members of staff have been given away or removed from the president’s Washington household.

Ms Noem has been trying to frame her actions as an example of her willingness to make tough decisions.

On Sunday, she wrote on the X social media platform that the decision to kill the dog “wasn’t easy, but often the easy way isn’t the right way”.

South Dakota Democratic Senate minority leader Reynold Nesiba believes Ms Noem’s decision to share the details in her book is calculated, claiming a story has circulated among politicians for years that the governor had killed her dog in a “fit of anger”.

“She knew that this was a political vulnerability, and she needed to put it out there, before it came up in some other venue,” Mr Nesiba said.

“Why else would she write about it?”

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