Republicans hate dogs

Remember this story about Mitt Romney?

In June 2007 the Boston Globe reported that in 1983, current Republican presidential hopeful (and former Massachusetts governor) Mitt Romney had placed his Irish setter in a dog carrier on the roof of his station wagon for a 12-hour trip to his parents’ cottage on the Canadian shores of

Lake Huron. He’d built a windshield for the carrier to make the ride more comfortable for the dog. He’d also made it clear to his five sons that bathroom breaks would be taken only during predetermined stops to gas up the car.

The dog spoiled this plan by letting loose with a bout of diarrhea during its rooftop sojourn, necessitating an unplanned gas station visit for the purpose of hosing down the pooch, its carrier, and the back of the car.

The governor of South Dakota, Kristi Noem, says “Hold my beer.”

Noem reportedly writes in her book, No Going Back: The Truth on What’s Wrong With Politics and How We Move America Forward, that Cricket had an “aggressive personality” and that Noem hoped taking her on a pheasant hunt with older dogs would help to calm the young Cricket down. Instead, Noem writes that Cricket spoiled the hunt by being “out of her mind with excitement, chasing all those birds and having the time of her life.”

The Republican reportedly writes that she failed to get Cricket under control with voice commands and an electronic collar, but then an even worse incident occurred after the hunt had ended. While traveling home, Noem writes that she stopped to speak to a local family—at which point Cricket escaped her truck and set about killing the family’s chickens, getting hold of one bird at a time, “crunching it to death with one bite, then dropping it to attack another.”

So what do you do with an out-of-control dog? Discipline? Find a professional trainer? Not this Republican!

Noem explains that she grabbed her gun and took Cricket to a gravel pit. “It was not a pleasant job,” she writes, “But it had to be done.” Afterward, she writes, she decided she also needed to kill a male goat she owned that was “nasty and mean” because it was uncastrated, complaining that the buck “loved to chase” Noem’s children around and would wreck their clothes by knocking them down.

She reportedly writes of the goat that she “dragged him to a gravel pit” like Cricket, but the killing did not go as smoothly. The goat jumped when she pulled the trigger, Noem says, meaning the goat survived the shot. She adds that she went to her truck to get another shell and then “hurried back to the gravel pit and put him down.”

What’s most surprising about this story is that she wrote it up and published it in a book for everyone to read, and doesn’t show even a glimmer of regret. I guess that’s what conservatives want, a politician who will kill without remorse.

Meanwhile, the Stevens Community Humane Society, our local no-kill shelter, is having their big annual fundraising dinner next Saturday. I’ll be there, come on by and support a group that doesn’t believe in clumsily gunning down animals we don’t like.


  1. remyporter says

    Most people would think “I kill puppies” is a bad campaign slogan, but when you’re comparing yourself to other Republicans, it’s practically saintly.

  2. Matt G says

    If this is what they do to dogs, I’d hate to think about what they might do to cats. I thought they were all about guns, trucks, Jesus, cheap beer, and dogs. I’m wrong yet again.

  3. raven says

    If this is what they do to dogs, I’d hate to think about what they might do to cats

    It gets far worse than that.

    What do you think they do to children in general and their own children in particular?

    It’s known that the fundie xians have very high rates of child sexual abuse.

  4. raven says

    Ample research backs up the finding that there is a direct link between acts of cruelty to animals and violence toward humans. This includes child abuse, domestic violence, elder abuse and other violent behavior.

    The Link Between Cruelty to Animals and Violence Toward …

    Animal Legal Defense Fund › Articles

    People who will abuse animals have a history of also abusing people, particularly children.

    Decades ago, one of the earliest school shootings happened in Springfield, Oregon. The shooter killed his parents, two students, and wounded 25.
    Before that happened, in his neighborhood, people kept finding cats that had been gruesomely killed.

  5. Hemidactylus says

    Cesar Millan’s methods, the treadmills and such, don’t look so bad now, huh?

  6. says

    She also writes that she “hated” (her word) Cricket.

    She did’n’t love Cricket and regret the awful necessity. She hated Cricket. Which, of course, is why she didn’t give Cricket away to a family who didn’t need a hunting dog and didn’t live near chickens.

    She killed the dog — barely more than a puppy — because she hated it. And she thinks that makes her a good choice to be a leader.

  7. robro says

    My partner and I volunteer for the nearby Guide Dogs for the Blind. I just spent the morning at a volunteer event learning about some of the ways they are changing their puppy raising program because it’s an ever evolving practice to prepare a dog to be a guide dog as well as be a happy, well-adjusted dog.

    Having helped foster about 20 dogs in the last 4 years, I can recognize a well-trained, well-behaved dog, and they are amazing. I also recognize dogs that are struggling, usually because something makes them nervous like being yelled at or loud noises. I can also recognize a poorly trained dog. It sounds like Noem’s dog was poorly trained, if trained at all. When Noem failed to get the dog to respond to voice commands, “recall” in Guide Dogs lingo, she showed how unaware of her dog’s state she was and just how much she had failed to prepare the dog for hunting with all it’s stimulations and loud sounds.

    When you tell a well-trained dog to come, they come. Sit, they sit. Stay, they stay. Of course, they get a treat. To get such behavior Guide Dogs starts when the puppies are two weeks old, which they refer to as “socializing”, and continues throughout their training.

    If you have a nervous and excitable dog with poor recall, you don’t take them into a situation like a friend’s house with chickens, other dogs, or even children (just image!). You take them home where they can relax.

    Here’s an interesting thing about guide dogs: As obedient as they are, a successful guide dog has to learn “intelligent disobedience”. That’s when the blind person says let’s cross this street but the guide dog sees a danger and doesn’t obey.

  8. Rob Grigjanis says

    “having the time of her life” is simply unacceptable to rightwingnuts.

  9. Alverant says

    A bullet is cheaper than a trainer and doing it in a secluded area means you don’t have the disapproving looks of shelter or rescue volunteers when you surrender the animal. Money and public image, the two things important to Republicans.

  10. euclide says

    I’m not a dog person (neither a cat person to be honest) but that’s pretty horrible stuff, and not the kind a sane person would write about in a book.
    “Hello, I’m a psychopath, please vote for me, I will solve everything with a shotgun”

  11. silvrhalide says

    Kristi Noem needs to be dragged to a gravel pit and shot.

    JFC, what kind of sociopath goes out of their way to find an excuse to kill animals?!
    Why get a dog if you didn’t want a dog in the first place?

    By taking Cricket on a pheasant hunt with older dogs, Noem says, she hoped to calm the young dog down and begin to teach her how to behave. Unfortunately, Cricket ruined the hunt, going “out of her mind with excitement, chasing all those birds and having the time of her life”.

    News flash: you train dogs to hunt (or to do anything else) by TRAINING THEM. Not hoping that someone else will do the hard work for you or that the dog will magically train itself. Dogs are easy to train. Millenia of domestication has produced a domesticated animal species that offers love and loyalty to humans that all too often don’t deserve that love and loyalty.

    Noem decided to kill the unnamed goat the same way she had just killed Cricket the dog. But though she “dragged him to a gravel pit”, the goat jumped as she shot and therefore survived the wound. Noem says she went back to her truck, retrieved another shell, then “hurried back to the gravel pit and put him down”.

    At that point, Noem writes, she realised a construction crew had watched her kill both animals. The startled workers swiftly got back to work, she writes, only for a school bus to arrive and drop off Noem’s children.

    “Kennedy looked around confused,” Noem writes of her daughter, who asked: “Hey, where’s Cricket?”

    From The Guardian:

    “I want when people look at me to hear the words that I say and not be distracted by something that I’m wearing or how I look or even my appearance. I want them to focus on my thoughts and ideas and what we can do to really make this country better.

    Believe me Kristi, no one is talking about your cheap-ass veneers.

    Maybe she’ll go hunting with Dick Cheney.
    Or Liz.

  12. silvrhalide says

    @3 The abuse isn’t just limited to sexual abuse, although that certainly seems abundant in those communities.
    All the trigger warnings.

    “It’s specifically a system that is set up to hide the abuse, to make them invisible, to strip them of any capability of getting help. And not just in a physical way,” Christina said. “At some point, you become so mentally imprisoned you don’t even realize you need help.”
    — Christina Beall

  13. silvrhalide says


    The Guardian report led Lincoln Project founder and former GOP campaign consultant Rick Wilson, an avid hunter, to go nuclear on Noem.

    “Kristi Noem is trash. Decades with hunting- and bird-dogs, and the number I’ve killed because they were chicken-sharp or had too much prey drive is ZERO. Puppies need slow exposure to birds, and bird-scent. She killed a puppy because she was lazy at training bird dogs, not because it was a bad dog.

    “Not every dog is for the field, but 99.9% of them are trainable or re-homeable. We have one now who was never going in the field, but I didn’t kill her. She’s sleeping on the couch,” he wrote before adding, “You down old dogs, hurt dogs, and sick dogs humanely, not by shooting them and tossing them in a gravel pit. Unsporting and deliberately cruel…but she wrote this to prove the cruelty is the point.”

  14. birgerjohansson says

    Never get an animal if you are not prepared to put in the work needed.
    For social animals like dogs, this means a lot of time training them.
    I am a lazy person, so I adopted two rather self-sufficient cats.
    I just feed them, clean the litter box and enjoy watching them turn the apartment upside down.

  15. birgerjohansson says

    I know Ricky Gervais is a bit problematic but at least he has empathy for aninals. He correctly assumed people who are cruel to animals will be cruel to prople.

    And the Austrian art-school reject only killed his two german Shepherd dogs at the very end, in the bunker.
    Kristi Noem should have followed his example by offing herself and have her bodyguards burn her corpse.

  16. cheerfulcharlie says

    Cue Johnny Cash, “Dirty Old Egg Sucking Dog”.
    Noem’s campaign song?

  17. says

    Many years ago a friend of mine took his fiancé to the family farm to meet his parents and siblings. The fiancé had a very undisciplined, untrained German Shepherd. As soon as the dog got out of the car it headed for the family’s pet sheep and killed it. My friend walked into the house got his rifle and shot the dog. End of engagement.

  18. hillaryrettig1 says

    Joni Ernst bragged about castrating baby pigs – which they do without anesthesia, btw.

    And the Missouri GOP passed a bill making sure that puppy mills are allowed everywhere, no local bans.

    If a human had to inflict even an hour of the torment we inflict on nonhumans, they wouldn’t be able to bear it.

    PZ I hope your Humane Society is serving at least vegetarian food. If not, you might suggest it for next year. (Of course, vegan is better.)

  19. tedw says

    If these stories upset you, do not look up Cody Roberts and what he did to a wolf in Wyoming. Cruelty is the point with Republicans, regardless of the species it is directed at.

  20. Hemidactylus says

    John Morales @19
    Well there might be good reason to shoot a dog, like perhaps one of the saddest scenes in movie history Old Yeller. Cujo was a similarly tragic situation involving rabies. I’m not thinking attacking chickens or sheep rise to that level.

    Now if a coyote or cougar was attacking a family pet or a child that would be a case of a reason to shoot. Sometimes a bad ass cat is all you need:

    I guess the attack of a child by a large aggressive dog would be an instance where shooting the dog to stop the attack warranted. That was not the case in the OP.

    I had a dog that bit me when I was a kid while I was eating chicken. He was young and stupid. My dad was in the process of taking him outside when my ornery poodle viciously attached his teeth to the culprit dog’s rear end. My dad was startled. The dog who bit me remained a family pet and went on to get his ass kicked by a duck he chased down. He was a good friend despite the fried chicken incident. The protective poodle bit me too when I picked him up.

    I really don’t know what you mean by the comment in this context. Sure for most people their own dog is a family member so different than a stranger dog and would be more emotional. Does not seem Noem is like most people as a dog killing chickens isn’t a reason to kill it IMO.

  21. asclepias says

    Oh, believe me, there are plenty of us in Wyoming who are mad as hell about that incident! That wasn’t hunting, that was cruelty, plain and simple. (I do not agree with hunting wolves, but it’s hard to say you shouldn’t be able to kill wolves in a state with so many ranchers, although I’m positive that the ranchers overemphasize their losses.) There are lawyers looking at the incident, but I looked at the research on animal cruelty and figured this idiot is a danger to society (not to mention state tourism).

  22. nihilloligasan says

    Reminds me of someone I knew who grew up killing puppies at the behest of his parents. They were poor and lived on a farm with lots of unfixed dogs (too poor to get them neutered), and since it’s hard to keep unfixed dogs from constantly fucking each other, they had a bunch of litters. They tried to sell as many of the pups as they could, but the ones that didn’t sell had to be beaten to death by the guy in question (didn’t have money for more humane methods, just had to use whatever blunt object was nearby). It traumatized him, but he admits not knowing anything else he or his family could do in that situation.

    I think growing up in a poor, rural environment like this guy forces you into doing things like this to an extent more middle-class people cannot understand. It’s fucked up and sad to watch puppies die, but at the same time, if no one adopts them then their lives are going to be miserable anyway. This is the fate of a lot of backyard breeder dogs, who often end up in no-kill shelters. The thing is, these dogs are generally unwanted due to usually having behavioral issues like aggression, so they live the rest of their lives in a cramped up kennel. Now we have a massive overpopulation of dogs living like this. I think kill shelters might have more merit than you’re giving them here.

  23. John Morales says

    Hemidactylus, well, it was Gary’s comment that made me riff.

    I really don’t know what you mean by the comment in this context.

    To me, a dog is a family member. Simple as that.
    That’s the difference.

    To clarify, since some are jaundiced, I am not ignoring other salient aspects.

    Which is over and above the living being thing, and over and above the fact that if one can’t be responsible for one’s dog, one should cop the consequences, not the dog.

    And yes, puppies need socialising and training, and yes they go mad the first time they get to experience the great outdoors and have fun.

    I remember my Rhodesian joyfully gambolling through the puddles after his first rain (this is in dry country).

    That was a sign of incompetence and of cruelty of the needless variety purely for one’s convenience.

    Living things as objects, type of thing. Livestock, not pet.

  24. John Morales says

    [obs, it was supposed to be a sign of resoluteness and righteousness — but then, religion warps thinking]

  25. Hemidactylus says

    John Morales @25
    If my dad was a gun-toting retributive type he might have shot both dogs. He had forbearance, a virtue dog-owners should have in abundance. Cat-owners too.

    My dad went on to be a Rush Limbaugh listening and FoxNews watching type. Noem shows Republicans have gotten much worse since.

    Speaking of virtue, Noem seems engaged in a disturbing new form of conservative virtue signaling.

  26. silvrhalide says

    Or just ram him repeatedly with a snowmobile.

    It’s worth noting that Wyoming is also the state where a bunch of homophobic assholes murdered Matthew Shepard in a particularly ugly and cruel manner.

    As raven pointed out, the people who do this to animals are people who will also do this to other people but haven’t.

    @23 Most of the livestock loss occurs in areas that are leased from the state–essentially ranchers are leasing land in or adjacent to state and national parks, which is where the wolves are, for the most part. There’s been a push to stop leasing national parkland to ranchers, since overgrazing (particularly by sheep and goats) degrades the land and the federal government has to pay out for livestock losses.

  27. silvrhalide says

    @18 Wow. Really?
    Neither one of those people seems particularly impressive.
    How is it that your friend can spend enough time with his fiancee, enough time for her to become his fiancee but he never noticed that her German Shepherd was untrained and undisciplined?
    And he takes her–and her large untrained dog–with him to meet his family of origin, knowing they had a pet sheep?
    (I’m assuming the presence of the pet sheep was not a sudden surprise to either of them.)
    And then when his fiancee’s dog kills the pet sheep, an eminently foreseeable event, he turns around and kills the dog?
    It’s always the animals who pay for their human owners’ stupidity.
    Not letting the fiancee off the hook here either: she had a large potentially dangerous dog that she never bothered to train or socialize. Then again, neither did her fiancé.

  28. imthegenieicandoanything says

    Gollum: “And [they] hated [small, cute puppies]…”

    Frodo: “What do [they] NOT hate?”

    Hey Ms Noem and Mr Romney had reasons! That makes them far closer to being human than, say, T—p or MTG or Matt Gaetz.

    Given the right circumstances, counseling and some very hard work, they could return to being the sort of person they had the chance to be before they became “Republicans.”

  29. microraptor says

    asclepias @23: Research as wolves have spread back across the western US over the last 30 years shows that wolves don’t appear to actually like preying on livestock and will instead usually go out of their way to avoid livestock in favor of hunting native prey animals like deer and elk. Most reported wolf attacks on sheep or cows have actually turned out to be animals that were killed by other causes, whether that was coyotes (which are much more aggressive toward livestock), domestic dogs, or the frankly mind-boggling number of ways that sheep are prone to getting themselves killed all on their own. Wolves are being very unfairly vilified.

  30. says

    Romney’s dog-on-car-roof stunt showed an absolutely ridiculous lack of common sense. Ordinary non-filthy-rich people have to choose what to do with their pets when they go on vacation; and they have several ordinary and very sensible options: rent a bigger car so the dog’s carrier fits inside it with everything else; put the pet(s) in a kennel; get a friend to pet-sit; hire a pet-sitter to pet-sit…Romney could easily have afforded any of those options, but instead he had to be a classic upper-class twit and come up with his own totally original genius solution to a problem that already had plenty of solutions that worked just fine.

  31. StevoR says

    Pets are family. Animal cruelty is evil. I am owned by a cat and a key part of my dogs pack.

    This should be politically disqualify Kristi Noem from any high office.

    FWIW. Its on her wikipage now :

    A 14 month old wirehaired pointer dog whose scruffy jkoala coloured coat reminds me of my dog. Very mych the owners fault not the dog’s. Training, care, responsibility. Party of personal .. yeah nah bulldust.

    I’ve been bitten by dogs. Years ago at a friend’s place got bitten on the hand by a Rhodesian Ridgeback -my fault. Didn’t take action or blame it. My own old Jack Russell also years ago and needed hospital treatment.In its final days but also didn’t blame it. Loved that little champ so much. Still very fondly remember it. (The dog not the getting bit!)

    Just horrific.

  32. StevoR says

    After Noem shot Cricket at a gravel pit, Noem decided to next kill a male goat that was “disgusting, musky, rancid”, “nasty and mean”, who “loved to chase” Noem’s children and knock them down.[268][273] The goat survived the first shot, with Noem having to retrieve another bullet to kill it, and the two killings were witnessed by shocked construction workers, Noem wrote, after which Noem’s daughter returned home “confused” and “asked: ‘Hey, where’s Cricket?'”

    Source : Noem’s wikipage as linked above.

    I wonder what she told her daughter and that affected the kid. “Cricket was bad so Mummy killed her?” Fucking hell. Just.. fuck.

    Wonder if those construction workers voted for her – before or after..

    PS. My old dog was Jack Russell cross Fox terrier for clarity. It was in pain and senile at that point and I stuffed up by playing what ahd been an old game and didnt get it anymore and didn’t behave as I’d expected it too. Stupid of me.

  33. raven says

    I wonder what she told her daughter and that affected the kid. “Cricket was bad so Mummy killed her?”

    This was a learning experience.

    If her daughter is bad, Mummy is going to take her out to the gravel pit and shoot her.

    And, it is a learning experience.
    Noem is running for Vice President to Trump, a 77 year old man who is not in the best of health or mental abilities.
    I wouldn’t want to find out what Noem does to people she doesn’t like if she actually had a lot of political power.

    It could be that she would need a lot of gravel pits as the old ones keep turning into mass graves.
    She is starting to remind me more of Stalin than anyone else and I’m not going to vote for her.

  34. says

    I’m looking forward to the 2024 version of Nixon’s Checkers speech.
    Only this time, instead of the VP candidate insisting on keeping the dog no matter what because the children love him, the candidate shoots the dog and tells the kids he deserved it.
    “My little dog Cricket…”
    Today’s Republican party, people.

  35. muttpupdad says

    Anyone who doesn’t properly train their dogs shouldn’t be allowed to own one . That said in not training her dog before taking him hunting and expecting to already know what to do shows that she has no understanding about them. It also leads me to think(I know that’s bad) that she feels the same when it comes to children and education, that they should naturally know all they need in life and putting them in schools is just wrong for it will turn them from the right and true way which is rethuglikkkan bliss.I can see why she is banned from the states reservations. They fear for their children.

  36. StevoR says

    @35. Oh and that Jack Russell x Fox Terrier I had killed chickens too – my chooks that I had once many years, over a decade ago. Used to run up and bark at them & I very wrongly thought he was being friendly. Cam e home fromwork onc etofind he’d dug under the wire fence and killed them all. Yes, Iwas sad and angry. No, I didn’t kill him or even blame him because, y’know I knew he was a dog. Plus also a much loved family member.

  37. stuffin says

    Blame for bad behavior of a pet always goes to the wrong end of the leash. The human holding the leash, physical leash or verbal leash, the human is responsible, and their pet becomes an easy scapegoat when things go wrong.

  38. says

    Talk of killing at a gravel pit makes me think of a long running murder trial in Saskatoon. In 2015 Sheree Fertuck disappeared from a gravel pit near Kenaston. At the time she and her husband Greg were involved in a contentious divorce case. Her body has never been found. He was eventually charged with first degree murder in 2019 after telling undercover RCMP officers he had killed her. (They used a so called “Mr. Big” sting on Fertuck, where the suspect is told admitting his crime will give him credibility with a criminal organisation. Such tactics have generated controversy in recent years.) The trial has dragged on in part because Fertuck fired his defense lawyers and decided to defend himself.

  39. Doc Bill says

    Isn’t unemotional cruelty to animals, including torture, a hallmark of being diagnosed a psychopath? I seem to recall that serial killers have animal cruelty in their past.

    On dogs, we “inherited” a dog that had been abused as a puppy, but he was just fine until he was not. After a year of TLC, training, lots of walkies and socialization at the Dog Park, he became the sweetest, most gentle, kindest dog ever. When we took in a rescue kitten, the little ball of fluff made beeline to the dog who licked it and let it snuggle down.

    So, ZERO Quatloos to psychopath Noem who isn’t tough but cruel. Remember Cricket and Free Snowflake.

  40. flange says

    What this highlights, I think, is that “conservatives”, bigots, and sociopaths assume that everyone else shares their sickness. That’s why Noem is shameless enough to put this narrative in a book.

  41. flange says

    Hemidactylus @22
    What disturbs me about that 2nd video: Who was taking that video? And why was that person not intervening in this horrifying attack?

  42. Tethys says

    Having competed in hunting dog trials for decades, I can confidently say that it takes years of daily practice for the dog to understand its role. Yes, they are bred to be hunting dogs, but the bird dog doesn’t understand the difference between hunting pheasant or chickens.

    Crunching the bird is an automatic disqualification.
    (The bird is not alive in hunting trials. They hide a fresh carcass and the dog needs to find it and either point and flush, or mark and retrieve the bird, depending on the type of ‘hunting’ they are simulating).

    Kristi Noem is a horrible excuse for a human.

  43. Prax says

    So Kristi Noem took a puppy with her to kill birds, then got mad when the puppy tried to help and ended up killing the wrong species. Apparently it should have intuited that only she has dominion over avian life and death.

    This is like those scenes where the villain kills a loyal minion for overstepping its authority, just to prove how evil they are.

    @Doc Bill #46,

    Isn’t unemotional cruelty to animals, including torture, a hallmark of being diagnosed a psychopath? I seem to recall that serial killers have animal cruelty in their past.

    There’s still a lot of debate over the exact nature of that link.

    Basically, yes, animal cruelty does predict cruel and callous behavior toward humans. However, there are also a lot of children who abuse animals and don’t grow up to be noticeably cruel or callous, so it may be that their empathy, understanding and self-control just took longer than usual to develop.

    Also, animal cruelty in childhood is predicted by exposure to domestic violence. Many of these kids are using animals to explore what they themselves suffered or witnessed as part of everyday life—which is no comfort to the animals, of course. But again, it doesn’t mean that those kids won’t grow up to find their past behavior unacceptable, if they get the right therapies or social support.

    Kristi Noem’s no longer a child, but she does belong to a subculture that condones or praises her behavior, which is why she’s advertising it in her book. If your behavior is considered “normal” by your community, we don’t generally use it to diagnose a mental disorder. E.g. medieval Europeans would not be considered “psychopaths” just because they liked to watch executions and torture cats for fun.

  44. deadbolt says

    The treatment of the puppy seems symbolic of how sociopathic authoritarians like Noem want to deal with people who defy “leaders” like her. She wants to “move America forward” by dragging everyone but the fawning lapdogs to the gravel pit.

  45. procyon says

    While on the subject you could have mentioned that Mike Huckabee’s son, David, was fired from a Boy Scout camp he was working at for killing a dog. He and friends apparently had the dog “hung over a limb and choking,” and then “put it out of it’s misery.” David was fired for “cruelty.” His dad, the Governor quashed any investigation.

  46. StevoR says

    Worth noting that Zack George the dog trainer here – Noem’s confession she killed family puppy shocks dog trainer, 12 mins long clip here – makes the point that Kristi “puppy-killer” Noem was using a shock collar on Cricket and that would have made the dog more “aggressive” because she’s causing it fear and pain. Aversive techniques and the sort of “training” that uses cruelty rather than positive reinforcement can be counter-productive.

    There’s also an intresting point made that “puppy-killer” Noem put that incident of her animal cruelty (& poor aim & lack of planning in the goats case!*) in her book to sound more “masculine” as if that’s what masculinity means. (Toxic masculinity culture maybe which sees “toughness / strength” as inflicting cruelty and death on other weaker people / animals.)

    Her defence here that she is trying to show how she does what is “tough” and “necessary” is obscene given the tougher choice would be to train the dog properly or find it a new home or surrender it rather than simply kill it and that the choice was clearly the wrong choice.

    TYT has more details including that she apparently shot Cricket in the face and this notes that the dog was the “picture of pure joy” (2.07 mark) after killing the chickens – I’d guess because Cricket had done the hunting of birds that she thought she was supposed to do having just been on a bird hunt.

    Someone in the youtube comments there noted :

    @pattismith872 :
    She was negligent in multiple ways: 1. Not training the puppy 2. Not containing the puppy while visiting the chicken owning neighbors 3. Not having the goat neutered. What a heinous, awful, psychopath!

    Which, yes. Also other dogs even one’s deemed dangerous have been adopted and becoming loving, good companion animals. (Anecdata but still.)

    I wonder if its too late for Puppy-killer Noem to face animal cruelty or other charges for her actions in executing her dog and goat. I hope she loses the next election very badly and is shunned from now on.

    .* Poor aim in first wounding the goat becuase it jumped, okay, the jumping factor there but then she was not prepared for that or waiting till it was still and poor planning for not having enough ammo ready for a second shot in that contingency.

  47. Hemidactylus says

    flange @49
    Seems by the fixed angles to be security cameras. Someone does run out to attend to the kid right after the cat body checks the dog like an angry hockey player. I never thought of cats of being protective of family members before seeing that footage. In the other video where a cat actually saves a dog being attacked by coyotes it’s a fixed security cam too. A cat actually helped a dog!

  48. microraptor says

    @57: You know someone’s messed up when Ron “Negative Charisma” Desantis comes across as more empathetic than them.

  49. lotharloo says

    @18 garydargan:
    No offense but your friend is a piece of shit. You don’t solve your problems by shooting them.

  50. KG says

    The media coverage I’ve seen (and some comments here) seem to assume this revelation will hurt her politically. But she may have reckoned it would actually boost her VP-candidate chances. If so, she may be right. I can see the MAGA crowd adopting her as the victim of persecution by an urban liberal woke mob, and Trump deciding to go along – as long as she’s properly subservient and sycophantic toward him, of course. At any rate, she is now the potential Trump running-mate people are talking about.

  51. says

    If your dog kills animals (outside of a hunting scenario), the problem is the one not holding the leash. Dogs will do as dogs do. It’s up to the human to train and control them. If you know that your dog cannot control itself in certain circumstances, then you need to control it.
    My neighbours are looking into getting a puppy of a certain breed. Now, while I’d always go for a pretty mutt, they’re as responsible about it as you can be. For example, they’re currently going on walks with a walking group that is predominantly made up by those dogs. But one dog in that group isn’t just a larger breed, but completely untrained, and the lady told them about the day the dog had run off during a walk, ran into a house and killed the pet guinea pig in front of the child. Thankfully it was only the guinea pig and not the child. And that lady would still not keep her dog on a leash!

  52. says

    KG: She may have reckoned correctly. She’s now in the category of another Republican governor who seems to have no policy accomplishments to brag about, other than killing a dog and pretending it’s a “tough choice” she had the balls to make; and zero credibility, therefore no leg to stand on if she ever wants to disagree with Trump. This makes her just like Trump’s last running-mate, Mike Pence — but with even less backbone or credibility.

  53. Doc Bill says

    @63 Raging

    Hey, remember when Rick Perry claimed he shot a coyote when he was out for a sunrise jog with his dog? Totally fabricated. He claims he was alone; no security detail. Claims he was “menaced” by a coyote. No, they don’t do that. Claims he carried a gun because he’s afraid of snakes. Snakes don’t attack. Claims to have left the deceased coyote to “mulch.” No corpse found.

    Totally made up story to make him look Macho Man to his drooling, slack-jawed bottom-feeding followers. And, dog be praised, the story went nowhere because it was so ridiculous.

    Yet, that brainless fool is still rattling around like the It Girl he surely ain’t!

  54. says

    He carried a gun because he was afraid of SNAKES?! Would even a skilled shooter be able to hit a snake that’s actually attacking him?

  55. Prax says

    No. Scared people mostly shoot rattlesnakes after they rattle, because fuck the snake for announcing its presence and making you walk around it, or something like that.

  56. marner says

    Ironically, dog ownership is one area where Trump is more responsible and praiseworthy than Biden. Trump says he didn’t want one while President because he didn’t have the time and that it would look “phony” – like it was for political purposes only.
    Biden got a dog that bit Secret Service personal at least 24 times. These 24 do not include any attacks on executive staff or other White House workers. Some of the bites required stiches.
    I’m trying to imagine arguing with HR that my dog should be allowed at work since he has only bitten around 20 people. But what kind of an asshole would I be to continually put by dog in situations where it felt that it had to attack someone, let alone terrorizing my co-workers with a dangerous dog?

  57. Tethys says

    The Biden’s sent their second German Shepard away from the White House last October to live with other family members. Notably, they did not execute the dogs for being aggressive. You can’t blame the dog for taking a dislike to agents skulking around in the bushes

    A statement to CNN from the office of First Lady Jill Biden said they had tried a number of measures to address the problem but gave up in the autumn and sent him to live with relatives.

    “Despite additional dog training, leashing, working with veterinarians, and consulting with animal behaviourists, the White House environment simply proved too much for Commander,” a statement said.

    Another dog owned by the family, Major, injured a Secret Service agent in 2021 and was sent away to live in Delaware.

    Commodore was a gift from Biden brother and I assume he was following his instincts and is just protecting his family. I wouldn’t have much trust in the Secret Service either after they somehow magically scrubbed all their phones after the events of Jan 6th.

  58. Tethys says

    Commander = Commodore My daily offering to typnos.

    No idea why my phone refuses to write Bidens without adding an apostrophe or deleting the s.
    Apparently, plurals and the plant aren’t possibilities in its predictions.

  59. John Morales says

    Raging Bee, one does not “train a dog for life in the White House”, one trains a dog to be socialised and happy and not bored and — most importantly — to not chomp on people.

  60. says

    Prax: I’ve never seen a rattlesnake up close, and never lived where they were a danger to look out for. But all the TV shows I watched since childhood seemed to imply that hearing a rattlesnake’s rattle meant a bite was imminent, so you had to either shoot first or get bitten. So maybe Perry was acting on the information he got from the same TV shows?

  61. John Morales says

    Raging Bee, you do understand that one does not “train a dog for life in the White House”, rather trains it to be a good dog.

    (That you even wondered at that indicates you are not a dog dude)

  62. says

    No, hearing the rattle means you are getting too close for comfort and ought to move away. It’s a warning. The rattlesnake is considerate to announce its presence like that unlike, say, the puff adder or russell’s viper who remain completely silent and are veritable biological landmines as a result. That’s why killing a rattling rattlesnake is stupid, it means rattlesnakes who don’t rattle get to survive and then you’ll eventually have the same problem as with the two other aforementioned species.

  63. says

    Anybody who thinks that biting a person should be an “automatic” death sentence should read “Bandit: Dossier of a Dangerous Dog”, by Vicki Hearn to get a little insight into what dogs actually are.

  64. Prax says

    @Raging Bee, #73:

    Prax: I’ve never seen a rattlesnake up close, and never lived where they were a danger to look out for. But all the TV shows I watched since childhood seemed to imply that hearing a rattlesnake’s rattle meant a bite was imminent, so you had to either shoot first or get bitten.

    Yeah, the same TV shows liked to have predators howl/growl/roar/etc. before they attacked you. Cobras spread their hoods and hiss before striking, etc. Drama!

    But as @AugustusVerger says in #75, the whole reason animals bother to make threat signals is that they’d rather not risk an actual fight, so if the opponent backs off, they usually won’t attack. Animals who are seriously trying to kill you are generally pretty quiet about it, unless they’re a social species and they’re calling their friends to help.

    So maybe Perry was acting on the information he got from the same TV shows?

    A Republican politician acting violently because he confused fiction with real life? I suppose it’s barely possible….

    @John Morales #74,

    Raging Bee, you do understand that one does not “train a dog for life in the White House”, rather trains it to be a good dog

    I can imagine a dog being generally well-behaved, but being particularly aggressive toward the Secret Service, folks in suits and sunglasses with weird body language who keep stalking its family. A lot of reactive dogs have very specific triggers, which can often be mitigated by desensitization therapy.

    It’s kinda crazy to keep the dog in the White House after the first time it demonstrates that trigger, though. Even if people enjoyed being bitten by a German shepherd, you’re just reinforcing its habit.

  65. microraptor says

    marner @67: Trump has also repeatedly expressed a dislike for dogs to begin with, which was speculated as the reason Kristi Noem thought telling her story about shooting a puppy would be a good idea. And as for not having the time, he’s infamous for how little work he actually conducted as president. He wasn’t taking the animal’s well-being into consideration, he’s just lazy.

  66. Hemidactylus says

    John Morales @76
    Thanks for posting vintage Irwin. If people think dogs are a bit feisty as pets try snakes. I had a gorgeous speckled king and a ribbon. I recall wearing a glove after feeding two pinkies to the king and seeing if it would strike. It did but was feigned. It struck at me but didn’t land. The ribbon I hand fed feeder fish. I was able to procure an occasional Cuban tree frog which the ribbon loved, but they were usually too big. One night I woke to the frog literally crying like a baby as the snake was like half way over it with its jaws. I had to manually disengage the frog from my snake. Aside from that unpleasantness the ribbon snake was more fun to feed than the king with its whole constriction of baby mice thing. Whoopty doo!

    I would never keep mambas or anything deadly like that. Don’t understand that. Salmonella is scary enough.

    Giliell @62 mentioned the tragic and traumatizing death of a guinea pig at the hands of a dog. The dog who as a puppy bit me for chicken had brought my escaped hamster to my mom unharmed and was tormented by my sadistic cat.

    Anyway I have had guinea pigs and rabbits together as pets. Rabbits are a bit much, one meticulously ate all the number labeled buttons off a remote control. Guinea pigs are cool but a bit on the loud side. Rabbits are quieter but a huge pain to catch when they get loose in the house. They actually enjoy the sport of the chase. After they eat your remote you will find them sleeping next to you after you gave up on the catching them thing. Pretend to sleep.

    Guinea pigs have tiny squat legs so are easier to catch.

  67. Prax says

    Minsc understood that reference.

    Kristi Noem has since doubled down by reminding us that she killed three of her family’s elderly horses a few weeks ago. Which…ok, nothing wrong with euthanasia, but if you end up putting three of them down simultaneously you kinda sound more lazy than compassionate. Just shoot everything that might need killin’ in the near future, Ripley‘s on in ten minutes!

  68. StevoR says

    Just seen Colbert’s takes on this in his latest show here – Kristi Noem Makes Her “Bluey” Debut (50 secs) and here – Kristi Noem, Puppy Killer | Did Trump Fart In Court? | Why Pecker Wouldn’t Pay Stormy Daniels (11 mins long.)

    @77. Ronald Couch : “Anybody who thinks that biting a person should be an “automatic” death sentence should read “Bandit: Dossier of a Dangerous Dog”, by Vicki Hearn to get a little insight into what dogs actually are.”

    Hope link helps :

    I know dogs. I’ve had quite a few now. They have and do mean the world to me. As noted aleady (#35) I’ve been bitten by a few too -and no, I don’t think it should be an automatic death sentence for them to chomp on humans given circumstances of those chomps and who even defines chomping. Very often its the person who gets bit fault more than the dogs. (Raises hand. Also happened to me as a kid with a neighbours dog too now I think about it.)

  69. WhiteHatLurker says

    “Kristi Noem needs to be dragged to a gravel pit”

    QFT. And I’m a cat person.

    While the fabricated story noted above is interesting, yes, coyotes can become aggressive to humans. Seen that. Don’t feed the wildlife, people!!! It pisses them off when the next free meal doesn’t do it.

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