To combat the illegal puppy trade, FOUR PAWS introduces the new “VeriPet” control system with and Amicus

FOUR PAWS – Foundation for Animal Welfare

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In cooperation with and Amicus, FOUR PAWS introduces the new “VeriPet” control system to counteract the illegal puppy trade

Zurich, May 24th, 2022 – Thanks to the joint initiative of the global animal welfare organization FOUR PAWS and the operators of the pet registry Europetnet, the national dog database Amicus and the classifieds site, it has recently become possible to prevent fraud by preventing advertisers and unscrupulous puppy dealers from selling potential to reach customers. Launched first in Ireland and now in Switzerland, the VeriPet verification system only allows registered and verified dog owners to offer their pets on This control system makes a significant contribution to reducing the illegal puppy trade and thus animal suffering.

Key to VeriPet’s success is that the system aims to deter criminals who profit from the suffering of dogs and their owners. Anyone who places an ad on must agree to the verification of their owner data via the national Amicus dog database. This means that the person who has not registered their dog or puppy cannot list the animal for sale.

FOUR PAWS estimates the value of the online puppy trade in Europe at almost 1.5 billion euros per year. Almost 2.4 million dogs are advertised annually on the three major European dog classifieds portals.

Amicus, the only national dog database in Switzerland with over half a million registered dogs, is managed by the IT service provider Identitas SA. The website is one of the largest advertisers in Switzerland and will be the pioneer of this project. Around 20,000 advertisements for dogs for sale are published on every year.

The system aims to end the anonymity of online trading and ensure responsible dog breeders can continue to advertise while those who circumvent the law lose access to the online marketplace. Special rules apply to animal shelters, unborn litters and dogs registered in other countries.

“FOUR PAWS is very pleased to be able to implement VeriPet, the technical solution for regulating the illegal puppy trade, on online platforms in Switzerland. We would like to thank our partners Europetnet, Amicus and for allowing us to launch and implement this promising project together,” says Alexandra Mandoki, Director of FOUR PAWS Switzerland.

“The introduction of VeriPet is a major step forward in regulating the online pet market. When rolled out across Europe, this new online listing verification system will significantly improve the traceability of pets transported across national borders and offer pet owners greater protection when acquiring a new pet,” said Remi Gelle, President of Europetnet.

Through its function as a national dog database, Amicus guarantees the traceability of dogs in Switzerland. “We are happy to make a contribution to animal welfare and to support our partner FOUR PAWS in the fight against the illegal puppy trade,” says Isabelle Habegger, product manager at Identitas AG, the operator of Amicus.

“One of’s priorities is to offer a quality classifieds site that offers maximum security to our users. We have been convinced for years that simply removing the “animals” category is not a solution. is proud to be at the forefront of this global project to curb the illegal puppy trade,” says Alessia Quaglia, CEO of

VeriPet is an example of online pet trade regulation that other platforms and governments can follow internationally. FOUR PAWS and Europetnet encourage other countries and platforms to follow suit, which will prove that it is possible to trade pets safely online.

The technical functioning of the VeriPet system

Thanks to VeriPet’s application programming interface (API), only registered – and therefore traceable – owners can offer a dog for sale. When posting an ad on a classifieds site, the seller must provide their mobile phone number or email address and the number of the dog’s microchip. The VeriPet interface then compares the animal registration databases via Europetnet to see if the data match. The dog’s registered owner will then be given a unique code to paste into the ad in order for it to be validated.

This means that only the person whose details are stored on the dog’s microchip can advertise the dog for sale. Illegal puppy sellers who want to act without the knowledge of the authorities and therefore do not register the animals cannot prove their identity and thus lose access to the online market.

About is one of the leading online platforms for free classified ads in Switzerland. This online marketplace is famous for constantly updating its millions of listings. was founded in Lausanne in 2004. Since 2021, has been part of the Swiss marketplace group SMG, headquartered in Zurich.

About Identity

Identitas AG is the Swiss data specialist for healthy animals and safe food. The company, headquartered in Bern, develops and operates applications for the identification, registration and tracking of livestock and pets.

Press contacts:

FOUR PAWS – Foundation for the Protection of Animals

Sylvie Jetz

Communication Switzerland


Such. 043 311 80 90

Aurelia Jaquier, Head of Communications Romandie SMG


Identitas SA


Such. +41 31 996 82 00


QUATRE PATTES est l’organisation mondiale de protection des animaux sous influence humaine directe, qui révèle leurs souffrances, sauve les animaux en détresse et les protège. Fondée en 1988 à Vienne par Heli Dungler et des amis, l'organisation plaide pour un monde où les humaines traitent les animaux avec respect, compassion et compréhension. Les campagnes et projets durables se concentrent sur les chiens et chats errants ainsi que sur les animaux de compagnie, les animaux de rente et les animaux sauvages – tels que les ours, les grands félins et les orangs-outans – vivant dans de mauvaises conditions de détention ainsi que dans les zones de catastrophe et de conflit. Avec des bureaux en Afrique du Sud, Allemagne, Australie, Autriche, Belgique, Bulgarie, Kosovo, Pays-Bas, Royaume-Uni, Suisse, Thaïlande, Ukraine, USA et Vietnam ainsi que des refuges pour animaux en détresse dans onze pays, QUATRE PATTES fournit une aide rapide et des solutions durables. La Fondation est en outre un partenaire d'Arosa Terre des Ours, le premier refuge en Suisse qui offre aux ours sauvés de mauvaises conditions de détention un environnement adapté à l’espèce.



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Contact Médias 
Sylvie Jetzer
Communication Suisse
Enzianweg 4
8048 Zurich
043 311 80 90

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