To fight against the illegal trade in puppies, FOUR PAWS presents the new…

VIER PFOTEN – Stiftung für Tierschutz

A document

FOUR PAWS presents the new “VeriPet” control system in collaboration with and Amicus to combat the illegal trade in puppies

Zurich, 24 May 2022 – Thanks to the joint initiative of the world animal welfare organization FOUR PAWS and the operators of the pet registry Europetnet, the national dog database Amicus and the classifieds website anibis .ch, recently it has become possible to prevent advertising fraud and unscrupulous dog sellers from reaching potential customers. The VeriPet verification system, launched initially in Ireland and now Switzerland, allows only registered and verified dog owners to offer their pets on This control system contributes significantly to reducing the illegal trade in puppies and, consequently, the suffering of animals.

The key to VeriPet’s success is that the system aims to deter criminals who profit from the plight of dogs and their owners. Anyone who posts an advertisement on must agree to verification of their data as an owner through the national Amicus dog database. This means that the person who has not registered their dog or puppy cannot offer the animal for sale.

FOUR PAWS estimates the value of the online puppy trade in Europe at nearly €1.5 billion a year. Around 2.4 million dogs are marketed each year on the three main European classified ad portals for dogs.

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

The system aims to end the anonymity of online commerce and ensure responsible dog breeders can continue to advertise, while those who break 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 delighted to be able to implement the technical solution to regulate the illegal trade in VeriPet puppies 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 launch of VeriPet is a major step forward in regulating the online pet market. When implemented across Europe, this new online listing verification system will significantly improve the traceability of pets as they travel across national borders and provide greater protection for pet owners when acquiring a new pet.” Remi Gelle, president of Europetnet.

Through its national dog database function, Amicus guarantees the traceability of dogs in Switzerland. “We are happy to contribute to the protection of animals and support our partner FOUR PAWS in their fight against the illegal trade in puppies,” says Isabelle Habegger, product manager at Identitas AG, operator of Amicus.

“One of the priorities of is to offer a quality classifieds site, offering maximum security to our users. For years, we have been convinced that simply excluding the category “animals” is not a solution. is proud to play a pioneering role in this global project aimed at curbing the illegal puppy trade,” says Alessia Quaglia, CEO of

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

The technical mode of operation of the VeriPet system

Thanks to VeriPet’s programming interface (API), only registered – and therefore traceable – owners can offer a dog for sale. When an ad is posted on a classifieds site, the seller must provide his mobile number or email address, as well as the dog’s microchip number. The VeriPet interface then checks the pet registration databases via Europetnet to determine if the data matches. The registered owner of the dog then receives a unique code that he must enter in the advertisement for it to be validated.

This means that only the person whose data is registered on the dog’s microchip can place an ad to sell it. Illegal puppy sellers who wish to operate without the knowledge of the authorities and therefore fail to register the animals cannot prove their identity and therefore lose access to the online marketplace.

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

About Identitas

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

Press contacts:

QUATRO PAWS – Foundation for the protection of animals

Sylvie Jetzer

Swiss communication


Such. 043 311 80 90

Aurelia Jaquier, Communications Manager Romandie SMG


SA identities


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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