In summer 2017, Dostaler witnessed her first cull. Dogs who were too old, sick or injured to run or breed were shot, she says. Instead of sending off the dogs she loved to forever homes, she stood by as they were killed.
And she could do nothing.
“Chocpaw has its own adoption program where people do a short interview then they come take whatever dog in the spring,” Dostaler said. “We had dogs who were sick, had seizures and had lumps, and Dog Tales Animal Sanctuary offered to take every single one from Chocpaw. But rather than take help, there was a cull.”
“Because it would be too expensive to ‘humanely’ euthanize the dogs, the employer hired someone to come and shoot them,” Dostaler wrote in her blog about the cull. “This was very traumatic for me. I can remember the sounds of the dogs, who I loved, being shot, hearing them being dumped into a big burial pit and then being instructed to bury them myself. For the next days following, we had to go check the pit and make sure no animals had tried to dig up the dead dogs.”
One by one, Dostaler and her coworkers unhooked each dog from their chain to carry them over to the pit, where the man with the gun stood. By the time they turned back to retrieve the next victim, they heard a gunshot and a muffled "thump" as another dog fell dead into the pit.
Instead of going to a rescue, Dostaler said, the dogs had been killed.