Breaking! Tragic News As The Animal Welfare Community Mourns The Sudden Loss Of FOUR PAWS Founder & President Heli Dungler

Photo by: Jasmine Duthie, FOUR PAWS

It is with heavy hearts that WAN shares the tragic news that FOUR PAWS Founder and President Heli Dungler has passed away. According to the prominent animal welfare organization, Dungler died suddenly and unexpectedly yesterday.

“His death is a severe blow for us and fills us with great pain,” Josef Pfabigan, board member of FOUR PAWS and longtime friend and colleague of Dungler, said in a statement on the organization’s website. “Our thoughts and our deepest sympathies are with his family during these difficult hours.”

Heli Dungler was born in 1963 in Waidhofen an der Thaya in Lower Austria. In 1984, he started his career with Greenpeace, Austria. During this time, he nurtured a desire to actively promote animal welfare.

In 1988, Dungler founded the animal welfare organization FOUR PAWS in Vienna, and initially focused on animal protection issues such as fur farming, battery farms and circus animals. For decades, through negotiations with decision-makers around the world, he campaigned for higher animal welfare standards in agriculture, for legislative changes in the keeping of brown bears, and for the protection of big cats and stray animals.

Today, FOUR PAWS is one of the largest global animal welfare organizations, represented in 15 countries where it reveals animal suffering and rescues animals in need while also protecting them worldwide.

“With Heli Dungler’s death, the world has lost a very special animal lover and visionary,” shared the organization. “We will honor his memory by continuing the work he loved so much, in his spirit.”

WAN joins the global animal welfare community in mourning this tragic loss.

R.I.P. Heli Dungler

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