Postmaster General John E. Potter unveiled the Animal Rescue: Adopt a Shelter Pet commemorative postage stamps and announced the Stamps to the Rescue promotional campaign.
“These stamps continue a Postal Service tradition of bringing attention to serious social issues of the day … one letter at a time,” said Potter. “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 stamps were introduced to the public on The Ellen DeGeneres Show. The Postal Service is working with DeGeneres and Halo, Purely for Pets, a holistic pet care company she co-owns, to promote the campaign and to bring greater attention to the cause.
“This is a subject that I am extremely passionate about. By working together, we can find good homes for millions of adoptable, homeless and abandoned pets,” said DeGeneres. "And until they get adopted, I'm happy to say that Halo and I are giving one million meals to shelter pets that are waiting for you."
Stamps to the Rescue is the name of the promotional campaign created by the Postal Service to provide additional information about the stamps and pet adoption. This campaign includes posters featuring DeGeneres placed in post office across the nation and a new website — stampstotherescue.com.
The Animal Rescue: Adopt a Shelter Pet commemorative stamps feature photographs of five cats and five dogs taken by veteran stamp photographer Sally Andersen-Bruce. All ten animals were adopted from a shelter in New Milford, CT.
Cats and dogs have been featured on other U.S. postage stamps. A 13-cent stamp of a kitten and puppy playing in the snow was issued in 1982 for use on holiday postcards, in 1998, images of a cat and a dog were included in the "Bright Eyes" set of five pets, and most recently, in 2002, photographs of a kitten and puppy were featured on the “Neuter or Spay” stamps.
Every year, 6 to 8 million cats and dogs enter animal shelters, and of that number, nearly half are euthanized. Although the problem seems overwhelming, the key to the solution is adopting a shelter pet when seeking a new companion and ensuring that the animal is spayed or neutered.
On April 30, DeGeneres will join Potter for the official stamp dedication ceremony at the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences in Hollywood, when the stamps will go on sale at post offices nationwide.
Animal Rescue: Adopt a Shelter Pet is the Postal Service’s 2010 social awareness stamp. Past social awareness stamps have highlighted important issues such as children’s health, literacy, breast cancer awareness, organ and tissue donation, philanthropy and Alzheimer’s awareness.