Daily Wire host defends Gov. Kristi Noem for killing her puppy: “Noem didn't do anything wrong”

In her new book, Noem reportedly bragged about killing her 14-month-old puppy, Cricket. Daily Wire host Michael Knowles claimed that “50 years ago, this political story would not have made anyone in most of America bat an eyelash.”

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Citation From the February 29, 2024, edition of The Daily Wire's The Michael Knowles Show

MICHAEL KNOWLES (HOST): Yes, it was politically dumb for Noem to admit this. Yes, her political calculation misfired. I'm mixing metaphors. You get the point. But the third point is, Noem didn't do anything wrong. You might say it wasn't advisable. You might say there were better things she could have done. She could have given the dog up for adoption. She could have tried to train the dog. She could -- there is nothing wrong with a human being humanely killing an animal. There's nothing wrong. You're all -- not all of you, but many of you are eating meat right now. Very few people live on farms anymore, I guess. It's a little bit different. You know, maybe if you live in the city, you take your puppy, you know, you take your little cat in a stroller down the sidewalk. I'm not joking. I have friends who've done this in the city. They -- they'll put their animal in a stroller so that the poor little paws of the animal don't touch the dirty sidewalk. And then you'll go and you'll take them to a doctor and you'll pay thousands of dollars to treat the animal for whatever ailment or to try to train the animal psychologically, and sometimes that doesn't work. And then you'll pay even more money to euthanize it. That doesn't happen in the country. OK? That doesn't happen on farms.

And sometimes, if a dog is threatening people and if a dog is destroying other people's property, sometimes you gotta put the dog down like Old Yeller. It would be one thing if Kristi Noem were torturing this dog like a serial killer or something. That would be wrong. And it would be wrong — it's wrong to mistreat animals, not because the animals have any rights -- animals don't have a rational soul. The reason it's wrong, nevertheless, to mistreat animals is because it deadens our own humanity. CS Lewis writes about this extensively. If you are needlessly inflicting pain and suffering on some — suffering to the degree that an animal can suffer — on some poor creature, that's deadening your humanity. That's bad for — that's what makes it wrong, because you are a rational creature, and that's harmful to your soul and it's harmful to society. But there's nothing wrong, intrinsically, with humanely putting down a farm dog. A bullet to the head is about as humane away as you can put down any animal.

You say, well, Kristi Noem should have given it up for adopt — yeah, maybe. I don't know. Maybe she should have tried to train it harder. OK, I guess. What about the chickens though, man? We've got all this sympathy for Cricket, the assassin dog. We got all this sympathy for this old nasty goat. What about the chickens? Won't somebody please think about the chickens?

And more importantly, because I don't really care about the chickens or the goat or, like, any of these things. Well, I don't I don't wish harm on these animals. I just don't. They're animals though, guys. And I care a lot more about the owner of the chickens. And I care more about the people that the animals can threaten sometimes. We used to think that way. 50 years ago, this political story would not have made anyone in most of America bat an eyelash. And the fact that it does today tells you something, not about the changing morality of putting down a farm animal, but about the changing politics of America.

The Guardian reported about Noem writing about killing her 14-month-old wirehair pointer, Cricket:

She includes her story about the ill-fated Cricket, she says, to illustrate her willingness, in politics as well as in South Dakota life, to do anything “difficult, messy and ugly” if it simply needs to be done.

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”.

Noem describes calling Cricket, then using an electronic collar to attempt to bring her under control. Nothing worked. Then, on the way home after the hunt, as Noem stopped to talk to a local family, Cricket escaped Noem’s truck and attacked the family’s chickens, “grabb[ing] one chicken at a time, crunching it to death with one bite, then dropping it to attack another”.

Cricket the untrainable dog, Noem writes, behaved like “a trained assassin”.

When Noem finally grabbed Cricket, she says, the dog “whipped around to bite me”. Then, as the chickens’ owner wept, Noem repeatedly apologised, wrote the shocked family a check “for the price they asked, and helped them dispose of the carcasses littering the scene of the crime”.

Through it all, Noem says, Cricket was “the picture of pure joy”.

“I hated that dog,” Noem writes, adding that Cricket had proved herself “untrainable”, “dangerous to anyone she came in contact with” and “less than worthless … as a hunting dog”.

“At that moment,” Noem says, “I realised I had to put her down.”

Noem, who also represented her state in Congress for eight years, got her gun, then led Cricket to a gravel pit.