On April 30 the United States Postal Service will release “Animal Rescue: Adopt a Shelter Pet” commemorative stamps to raise awareness of homeless animals. The stamps feature photos of five cats and five dogs from a shelter in New Milford, Conn. – all of whom have been adopted.
“These stamps continue a Postal Service tradition of bringing attention to serious social issues of the day … one letter at a time,” Postmaster General John E. Potter said at the unveiling of the stamps in March. “This campaign will increase public awareness about sheltered pets, and our hope is that it will encourage pet adoption and promote humane and responsible pet care.”
The Postal Service is working with Ellen DeGeneres and Halo, Purely for Pets, a holistic pet-care company she co-owns, to promote the “Stamps to the Rescue” campaign and bring greater attention to the cause. As part of the campaign, Halo is donating 1 million meals to shelter pets.
“This is a subject that I am extremely passionate about,” DeGeneres said in a news release. “By working together, we can find good homes for millions of adoptable, homeless and abandoned pets.” DeGeneres has received multiple Genesis Awards from the Humane Society of the United States for her work on behalf of animal welfare.
An estimated 6 to 8 million cats and dogs are put in animal shelters each year, and nearly half are euthanized. The Postal Service notes that some ways to help resolve the problem are by adopting shelter pets and ensuring the animals are spayed or neutered.
“Animal Rescue: Adopt a Shelter Pet” is the Postal Service’s social awareness stamp for 2010. Previous social awareness stamps were for issues including children’s health, literacy, breast cancer awareness, organ and tissue donation, philanthropy and Alzheimer’s awareness.
These are not the first time cats and dogs have graced U.S. postage stamps. A holiday stamp featuring a kitten and puppy playing in the snow was issued in 1982, and a cat and dog were included in 1998′s “Bright Eyes” set. In 2002, photos of a kitten and puppy were featured on “Neuter or Spay” stamps.
“Animal Rescue: Adopt a Shelter Pet” stamps can be pre-ordered at shop.usps.com or stampstotherescue.com, or by calling 800-STAMP-24 (800-782-6724).