Can I Be Your VP Running Mate? Noem hears Crickets

NGWP rescue
8 min readJun 23, 2024


— Leslie R. Dye, MD, Treasurer, NGWPR

Cricket, Nome’s dog

A blog was planned for the end of May, but due to unexpected circumstances, it had to be delayed. Rather than having a big gap without one, I scrambled for a topic. The last one I did where I searched for the perfect solution for homemade dog food just about brought my blog-writing days to an end. I felt like I was back in medical school researching a dilemma with no solution!

Like most big news stories, the Kristi Noem dog killing story was hot for several days but cooled off quickly. However, I saw her interviewed again recently and decided to revisit it. As I looked for an “angle,” I realized the story is not about politics but is really about our mission as a rescue. Had Noem demonstrated even a little bit of humanity and allowed Cricket to live, she likely would have ended up in rescue.

When the story was in the news, the board of directors of the NGWP rescue had an emergency call to discuss our response. Our president, Diane Turner, provided a statement that denounced the action and suggested alternative solutions.

On April 28, Turner wrote, “It has come the attention of the Board of Directors of National GWP Rescue that in her soon-to-be-released book “No Going Back” Governor Kristi Noem SD (R) relates an incident in which her 14-month-old GWP puppy did not perform in the field as expected — Noem’s solution to dealing with the troublesome puppy named Cricket was not to spend more time and effort to train the dog but rather to destroy the puppy by shooting her. NGWPR strongly condemns such action by anyone and especially by a public figure such as Governor Noem. The decision to kill a trusting young dog in such a manner shows lack of judgement, ignorance and cruelty. Sporting breeds are bred with bird hunting instincts, but it takes training and effort to have a working field dog.

We call on Governor Noem to take accountability for this horrific decision and to dedicate time and to use her position to educate the public that there are humane solutions to managing a difficult young canine-training, breeder involvement, mentors and rescues are all available.” — NGWPR Board of Directors

Inside Edition reached out to our rescue coordinator, Suzanne Oslander, who was able to quickly find a representative who is an excellent dog trainer and a foster for us. Tyler Smith, who lives in California, owns two well-trained GWP’s and was fostering Moose*. He was interviewed and appeared live on Inside Edition with his well-behaved hunting dogs. In addition to obedience and proper hunting skills, they have also been trained not to attack the chickens on Smith’s farm. The segment demonstrated the versatility, affability, and obedience of GWP’s that are properly trained.

*Thanks to Tyler’s skill as a trainer and kindness as a foster, ”California Moose” has successfully found a home with an owner that Tyler continues to mentor.

Tyler Smith with his GWPs

Sad statistics:

· Over 3 million dogs enter our nation’s animal shelters and rescue programs.

· Approximately 25% of all dogs in shelter care are purebred.

· In 2023, the number of dogs killed in US shelters increased by almost 30%.

If 6% of the number of people planning to add a pet to their homes adopted their pets, the number killed in shelters could go down to zero.

One of our earliest blogs was written by our president, Diane Turner, explaining how dogs end up in shelters and rescue. It was published on June 8, 2020, and is entitled, “Where do Rescue Dogs Come From?” ( She explained how many purebred dogs that end up in rescue come from family breeders, non-affiliated breeders, and puppy mills.

But if we go back to the story of Cricket, the dog was too young and inadequately trained to be taken on a large, organized hunt. The governor used the story to make herself sound decisive and level-headed. Instead the nightmare portrayed her as volatile and heartless. She was not eking out a living in the dust bowl, trying to eliminate one more mouth to feed, requiring the culling of an unruly animal. She was a rancher and mother opening a hunting lodge in the early 2000’s.

A 14-month-old GWP still has a developing brain and body that requires patience and training. Using an e-collar in the field in an active hunt is generally not considered an appropriate situation for such a young dog to be training or even participating. She also told the story of the dog “getting loose” and killing the neighbor’s chickens. A bird dog eating chickens? What a surprise.

How many GWP’s do we see on Facebook or in rescue that are “too energetic” or are called “runners?” Lack of education about the breed by those who purchase them and lack of responsible breeding are both problems. Prospective owners see a cute dog and have no idea what type of personality the GWP has. As mentioned in the blog by Diane, reputable breeders will not only socialize puppies, but will select the best families for their puppies and educate them about the breed. In addition, they offer support for the owners after the puppies go to their new homes. And responsible breeders will take troublesome dogs back if the owner cannot endure specific behaviors. Therefore, those dogs don’t usually end up in rescue.

How many dogs are taken to rescues and shelters because they are misbehaving? Why do they misbehave? There is no doubt that there are dogs that have behaviors that cannot be tolerated in some situations (e. g. biting young children). But many of the undesirable behaviors are a result of improper training or lack of training. The governor expected Cricket to learn from the other dogs and did not sound committed to a strict training regimen. The NGWP rescue offers a mentoring program for owners with troublesome wires. The goal is to keep the dog in the home with the help of an experienced GWP owner of trainer.

The outcome in South Dakota 20 years ago could have been much different. Training the dog properly, hiring a good trainer, and having a sturdy containment system all were options that were not chosen. These choices may have allowed the dog to be an excellent hunter or, at least, a loved family member. If not, rescue would have been a fine option.

Governor Nome, consider rescue the next time your ego is bruised.

For our loyal supporters, know that we advocate for the breed and for animals, in general, by responding to stories like this.

Blog Dog-Moose

Minnesota Moose is looking for his Forever Home

Minnesota Moose

Moose came to us with anxiety, but with the consistent training and care from a very special lady, named Hayley Lackner, he is ready for his new family. Hayley spent the time to give him the training and exercise he needed. He has hunted before and is fully e-collar trained. He has solid recall, plays fetch all day, loves water, and is good with bumpers and birds. He struggles to stay in front of you while hunting and tends to circle around and come up behind you, but has a good nose. His foster believes he will be huntable this fall.

He gets along with every dog — male, female, intact, neutered, big, small, old, and young, but he has not been tested with other small critters. He takes correction well, is patient for grooming and has a nice coat.

Moose does suffer from separation anxiety and is NOT suitable for a home with young children. He would be well-suited for someone’s everyday travel buddy or with someone who is home that he can follow around the property all day. He tolerates a kennel, but will probably never be fully able to settle in a crate long term. When he transitions to a new environment, he may require some medication for anxiety but eventually will be able to decrease the dose or stop it.

Moose ready for his new home

Moose and all of us at NGWPR send gratitude to Hayley for all she has done to turn Moose into a gentleman who is ready for a new home! Please call or text Suzanne at 860–921–7827 or complete an adoption application.

About Us

National GWP Rescue is a nationwide rescue program whose volunteers work tirelessly to provide funding, foster homes, medical care and training for GWPs found in shelters, animal control facilities and to those GWPs whose current owners are unable to provide a suitable situation.

Working hand- in-hand with governmental and local shelters, NGWPR provides a safe and responsible home for GWP’s in need. Placed with an experienced GWPCA member, fostered GWPs that have been neglected, untrained or have medical issues quickly blossom as they are readied for their “forever” homes.

Prior to releasing our rescued GWPs for adoption, volunteers provide obedience, manners, and house training. We hold to the philosophy that a mannerly dog has a better chance of fitting into a new household.

NGWPR believes that Wires were designed to hunt and unlike some other rescue programs, we are happy to place dogs with field experience or bird instinct with potential owners who enjoy hunting behind a Wire. However, NGWPR insists that any rescue dog first be a house dog and companion, then a weekend hunting partner.

Please go to our website to learn more.

Click here to donate to NGWPR



NGWP rescue

We believe that the more we educate people the more likely we are to accomplish our mission of matching homeless GWPs with loving owners.