Economy 28-04-2024 01:03 9 Views

Democrats, political figures dogpile onto Trump VP hopeful after story of animal killings

It doesn’t matter if you’re a Republican or Democrat, liberal or conservative — a growing number of elected officials and political groups all suddenly want you to know: they love their dogs.

The outpouring of animal love from political social media is all in response to South Dakota Gov. Kristi L. Noem (R) — who is believed to be in the running to be Donald Trump’s running mate — admitting in her forthcoming book that she killed a family dog and goat in a gravel pit with a gun on the same day.

According to an excerpt of the book obtained by the Guardian in advance of its publication next month, Noem, a farmer and rancher, said she shot and killed her 14-month-old wirehair pointer, Cricket, because she was “untrainable” and aggressive.

Noem described how Cricket was overexcited on a hunt and wrote that she attacked another family’s chickens like “a trained assassin.” The governor also said Cricket had tried to bite her during the incident, later writing that she “hated that dog.”

After killing Cricket, Noem wrote that she then decided to kill a family goat that was “nasty and mean” and which “loved to chase” Noem’s children.

Democrats, including President Biden’s reelection campaign, had some fun with it — along with some spirited politicking.

The Democratic National Committee, responding to Noem’s book excerpt, issued a statement on behalf of “the dogs of the DNC, aka the Dogmocratic Party.”

“As DNC’s canine companions, we’ve heard a lot from our owners about just how extreme and dangerous Donald Trump and his far-right MAGA allies are — but nothing could prepare us for the truly disturbing and horrifying passages Kristi L. Noem willingly chose to put in her new book,” the statement said.

“Our message is plain and simple: If you want elected officials who don’t brag about brutally killing their pets as part of their self-promotional book tour, then listen to our owners — and vote Democrat,” the statement added.

After Noem’s excerpt went public, the Biden campaign’s rapid response team shared pictures on X of Vice President Harris holding a puppy and President Biden walking his German shepherd, Commander, at the White House (although Commander was removed from the White House last year after he bit several staffers and Secret Service officers).

Democratic Gov. Tim Walz (Minn.) shared a photo on X of him feeding his dog a treat, writing the caption, “Post a picture with your dog that doesn’t involve shooting them and throwing them in a gravel pit. I’ll start.” The post garnered responses from Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D-Mich.) and Gov. Phil Murphy (D-N.J.) with their furry companions.

Post a picture with your dog that doesn’t involve shooting them and throwing them in a gravel pit. I’ll start. https://t.co/VA3O0lcHtJ pic.twitter.com/gICODi9YD5

— Governor Tim Walz (@GovTimWalz) April 26, 2024

The Lincoln Project, a political organization founded by moderate conservatives who oppose Trump, published a tongue-in-cheek video that seemed to nod at Sarah McLachlan’s earworm ads for the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.

“You have options,” a narrator says in the video. “Shooting your dog in the face should not be one of them. And if you do happen to shoot your dog in the face, please don’t write about it in your autobiography.”

The organization also subsequently said that Trump and Noem’s “disregard for animals reflects their disregard for everything else. Cruelty is the point.”

Other Republicans who do not support Trump, including former Trump aides Alyssa Farah Griffin and Sarah Matthews, as well as Meghan McCain, similarly expressed shock over Noem’s story.

And Laura Loomer, a right-wing activist and Trump ally, wrote on X, “You can’t shoot your dog and then be VP.”

Post a picture with your dog that doesn’t involve shooting them and throwing them in a gravel pit. https://t.co/TJzQXsguNE pic.twitter.com/uJd0DdwI0Y

— Governor Phil Murphy (@GovMurphy) April 27, 2024

Noem’s actions have been blasted by animal advocacy organizations. Colleen O’Brien, senior vice president of media relations at People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, said in a statement that the excerpt reveals the governor “obviously fails to understand the vital political concepts of education, cooperation, compromise, and compassion.”

Sara Amundson, president of the Humane Society Legislative Fund — the lobbying arm of the Humane Society of the United States — said in a statement that “there is no redeeming takeaway from a story about the ending of these animals’ lives, including a juvenile dog who was the family pet.”

The organization noted that the 86 million American homes “have at least one beloved pet and value our relationship with them. There are so many effective and humane ways to deal with canine behavioral issues that don’t resort to such means.”

Noem appeared to verify the details of the excerpt published by the Guardian, writing on X Friday morning, “We love animals, but tough decisions like this happen all the time on a farm. Sadly, we just had to put down 3 horses a few weeks ago that had been in our family for 25 years.”

The governor, in her post, then urged her followers to preorder “No Going Back,” her forthcoming book, “if you want more real, honest, and politically INcorrect stories that’ll have the media gasping.”

Amy B Wang contributed to this report.

This post appeared first on The Washington Post
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