Technical solution piloted in Ireland to bring an end to illegal online puppy trade


Today we’re celebrating the launch of a brand-new technical solution to the illegal online puppy trade in Ireland. Inspired by FOUR PAWS’ Model Solution and working with Europetnet, an organisation that reunites lost pets with owners internationally, VeriPet is a brand-new approach to advertising pets online. Today’s move could revolutionise the market and block unscrupulous puppy dealers from having access to the online ad sites and drive out the illegal trade in puppies.  

Sadly, many traders have realised that the online puppy trade is a high return, low risk model and have taken advantage of this, to the detriment of many animals and their devasted new families. But through VeriPet all advertisers will need to ensure that any dog advertised on are microchipped and registered. Vitally the identity of the keeper is also recorded too. These details will bring an end to the anonymous nature of the trade and ensure that responsible breeders and rehoming organisations can still advertise online, but those evading the law will lose access to the online market.  

Today’s advance demonstrates that a safer online trade is possible and we’re hopeful that other countries will follow Ireland’s suit by adopting VeriPet. Says Emily Wilson FOUR PAWS UK Head of Campaigns: “No longer will anonymous sellers be able to advertise dogs for sale and then transport said chosen puppy thousands of miles to the door of the unsuspecting buyer. VeriPet represents security and protection for the pets and buyers and ensures there is full traceability should anything go wrong.” 

Julie Sanders, Companion Animals Programme Director of FOUR PAWS: “We are proud that FOUR PAWS significantly contributed to implementing this solution within this multi-stakeholder setting. It showcases FOUR PAWS’ ability to understand and cooperate with the concerned industry to ensure better protection for animals. We look forward to seeing VeriPet expand across Europe, including the United Kingdom, and more pet registries and classified ad sites joining in.” 

Whilst VeriPet hasn’t launched in the UK yet, if you think you have been the victim of an unlicensed breeder or illegal puppy trader then please contact FOUR PAWS. We work with a team of investigators and prosecutors at Animal Protection Services to bring those profiting from our love of four-legged friends to justice. Find out more at here.  

Animal Charity

Find out more on our illegal puppy trade work

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Hannah Baker

Head of Communications UK

Hannah heads up the Communications team for FOUR PAWS UK and handles all press and marketing enquiries as well as managing the social media accounts. Having worked in the animal welfare sector for nearly a decade she has worked tirelessly to raise awareness of what we can do to help our animal friends at home and further afield.

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