FOUR PAWS International: Long-time colleague Josef Pfabigan to follow Heli Dungler as CEO


30 January 2020 – After the sudden passing of FOUR PAWS founder Heli Dungler on January 5th, long-time colleague Josef Pfabigan, 57, will become Chief Executive Officer of FOUR PAWS International. He thereby takes over the management of all worldwide activities of the global animal welfare organisation.

“Together with all FOUR PAWS colleagues I will continue Heli’s life’s work in his spirit”, Pfabigan says. 

“FOUR PAWS is excellently positioned, not least thanks to his foresight, and in a position to preserve his memory and continue all our visions and projects. We will continue to be the global animal welfare organisation for animals under human influence that reveals suffering, rescues animals in need and protects them.”

Josef Pfabigan, new Chief Executive Officer of FOUR PAWS International

Like Heli Dungler, Josef Pfabigan grew up in the district of Waidhofen an der Thaya in Lower Austria. The two got to know each other at a young age; Pfabigan was Dungler’s friend and long-time colleague for decades. Already in 1988, when FOUR PAWS was founded in Austria, he supported the activities of the young association on a voluntary basis and in 1997, he accepted Heli Dungler’s invitation to join the organisation and started working on campaigns and projects. 

As the organisation grew, Josef Pfabigan was particularly involved in the internationalisation of FOUR PAWS. He was the co-founder of FOUR PAWS International in 2002 and assumed the position of Chief Financial Officer on the management board in 2006.

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FOUR PAWS is an international animal welfare organisation with headquarters in Vienna, Austria. Founded by Heli Dungler in 1988, the organisation strives to help animals in need with sustainable campaigns and projects. The work is based on substantiated research and scientific expertise as well as intensive national and international lobbying. FOUR PAWS focuses on animals that are directly under human influence: stray dogs and stray cats, farm animals, companion animals and wild animals including bears, big cats and orang-utans kept in inappropriate conditions. With offices in Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Germany, Hungary, Kosovo, Netherlands, South Africa, Switzerland, Thailand, Ukraine, United Kingdom, USA and Vietnam, FOUR PAWS aims to help animals in need directly and quickly.