The Pegasus Society was founded by Zvika Tamuz of "Moked Hai" ("Living Hotline"), who has been rescuing animals since 1993.
Zvika has raised horses for more than twenty years. In 2004 he became aware of the phenomenon of horse and donkey abuse in Israel, ever since different animal welfare organizations began referring him cases involving these animals, knowing that he had the know-how and the place to care for them, since he kept horses of his own.
News that somebody takes care of horses and donkeys spread quickly. The National Traffic Police, the National Roads Association and municipal vets, who did not know what to do with these animals, also took the opportunity to call Zvika every time they encountered a stray horse or donkey wandering alone in traffic.
With the price of iron going up, many residents of the occupied territories began appearing in the border area of the Sharon plain, collecting (and quite often stealing) scrap iron. That marked a new era in terms of the numbers and poor physical condition of horses and donkeys in the area. A wave of calls were received from residents of Kfar Saba, Ra'anana, Hod HaSharon etc. – appalled by the sight of these emaciated and wounded animals pulling carts piled high with very large and heavy loads of scrap iron, beaten by their owners to keep them going, many simply collapsing on the street, unable to go on.
The different animal welfare societies who received these calls referred them to Zvika Tamuz.
In August of 2006 Ms. Eti Altman, spokesperson of the "Let the Animals Live" organization, wrote to several government and state agencies, alerting them to the grave hardships endured by horses and donkeys in Israel and demanding the government to take responsibility for the rescue operations and for the expensive upkeep of these animals, which up until then were paid for by Zvika Tamuz from his own pocket.
The Ministry for Environmental Protection did begin funding the rescue operations of donkeys and horses, but there still remained the problem of keeping them during the long rehabilitation periods they required.
There was an urgent need for an organization that would take care of these animals in Israel.
Tens of horses and donkeys were rescued by Zvika, at all hours of the day and night, seven days a week. No report of a horse or a donkey in distress was left unattended to. The fear that the owners would try stealing them back or harm them in any way prevented Zvika from making public the rescue stories, and he emphatically asked the policemen to never divulge his name or address.
In May of 2007 a team of the International WSPA came to Israel on a visit and was taken by Ms Rivi Meier, founder of The Society for Cats in Israel, to visit Zvika Tamuz's ranch. This unplanned visit provided the basis for founding the Pegasus Society.
In collaboration with WSPA the Pegasus Society started on a new path with a vision of establishing an educational center and a visitors center that would convey the message of the plight of these animals and supply the tools that would enable the general public to recognize states of distress in horses and donkeys.
In the sanctuary ,'Susita' run by the Pegasus Society these horses and donkeys are being rehabilitated both physically and mentally. Some of them remain at the sanctuary for the rest of their lives and become permanent residents.
One of the upcoming projects the Pegasus Society intends to launch in the near future is an educational program, in the Jewish and Arab sectors alike, with the intention of passing on to the younger generation the message of compassion and caring for animals.
watch a Video about the Pegasus foundation and Sanctuary: