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Killing Puppies and Kicking Babies

In a political system upended by Trump do politicians think it is beneficial to brag about murdering their pets?

By Carl J. PetersenPublished about a month ago 3 min read
Governor Kristi Noem (CC BY 4.0)

All life is precious.

– Governor Kristi Noem

I hated that dog.

– Governor Kristi Noem

Next to holding a baby at a campaign rally, nothing does more to humanize a political candidate than a video of them frolicking with the family dog. The love of man’s best friend is bipartisan with dog owners “just as likely to come from either side of the political spectrum.” A Pew Research Center survey found that 97% of pet owners consider their pets part of their family.

Like everything else that has changed since Trump descended his golden escalator to announce his first candidacy, a dog’s status on the campaign trail is now threatened. As part of her campaign to become Trump’s running mate, Kristi Noem, the governor of one of the Dakotas, is set to release an autobiography where she brags about killing two of her family’s pets.

As a dog lover, I have made the wrenching decision to help faithful companions cross the rainbow bridge. It is always difficult, but we owe it to our pets to allow ourselves to let go rather than let them suffer. I held each of them as the doctor injected the fatal shot, making sure that they left us knowing the answer to “Who is a good dog?”

Noem provided no such comfort to her dog. According to her account, Cricket was dragged to a gravel pit and shot dead in front of a startled construction crew. Like a serial killer discovering pleasure in taking a life, she then set her sites on one of the family’s goats. The goat did not fare as well as Cricket and did not die with the first shot. Noem had to “run back to her truck for more ammo to finish off the wounded animal.

Hey, where’s Cricket?

– Noem’s daughter

To be clear, Cricket was not killed to deliver it from any misery other than its bad luck of being adopted by the Noem family. The 14-month-old puppy’s date with the executioner was the result of it acting “like a trained assassin” by killing the neighbor’s chickens after being “trained” as a hunting dog…of pheasants. Perhaps the dog would have been more useful to the MAGA politician if it had learned to kill peasants from South of the Border.

The goat was chosen for death because it “sometimes chased her children and messed up their clothes.” In other words, it was a goat.

The goat was also described as mean, old, “disgusting, musky, [and] rancid.” That sounds like some Grandmas I know. Better send them to Noem’s gravel pit. As a leader who is “authentic, willing to learn from the past, and [doesn’t] shy away from tough challenges,” she knows what has to be done to restore solvency to the Social Security system.

Despite the considerable backlash Noem has received for voluntarily recounting her tale of killing her family’s pets, the story might land differently with the one person who matters. Like all people in Trump’s orbit, the VP hopeful is playing to an audience of one. And Donald Trump hates dogs.

According to Trump’s first wife, Ivana (the one he cheated on with his second wife Marla), “Donald was not a dog fan” and was hostile to her poodle, Chappy. Like most Americans, she was perplexed by this hostility; “How can you not love a dog that acts like he’s won the lottery for life just because he sees you walk through the door?

The Trumps were the first modern First Family not to have any pets when they were in the White House. James K. Polk and Andrew Johnson were the only other Presidents without pets while they were in office. Many people are saying that this is an example of Trump’s narcissism. It is hard to have unconditional love for another creature when you are too busy admiring the greatness of the man in the mirror.

With pesky dogs no longer protected on the campaign trail, what will be the next convention to fall? Is there a MAGA politician ready to step up for a game of “Kick the Baby?”


Carl Petersen is a parent advocate for public education, particularly for students with special education needs, who serves as the Education Chair for the Northridge East Neighborhood Council. As a Green Party candidate in LAUSD’s District 2 School Board race, he was endorsed by Network for Public Education (NPE) Action. Dr. Diane Ravitch has called him “a valiant fighter for public schools in Los Angeles.” For links to his blogs, please visit Opinions are his own.


About the Creator

Carl J. Petersen

Carl Petersen is a parent advocate for students with SpEd needs and public education. As a Green Party candidate in LAUSD’s District 2 School Board race, he was endorsed by Network for Public Education (NPE) Action. Opinions are his own.

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Excellent work. Looking forward to reading more!

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  • Deasun T. Smythabout a month ago

    I remember hearing about Noem killing her dog (and goat). Yikes! I mean if it was to put your dog out of its misery I understand, but to kill your pet because YOU didn't train it properly... that's a shame. Good article, well done. 👍

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