The US Postal Service held an official dedication today for the newly released Animal Rescue: Adopt a Shelter Pet stamps. The latest in a series of 2010 Social Awareness postage stamps, they were created to raise awareness of the need to adopt shelter pets. The event was held at the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences in North Hollywood, California and speakers included talk show host Ellen DeGeneres, HSUS President Wayne Pacelle, Jone Bouman from American Humane, Petfinder co-founder Besty Saul, and Joseph Corbett, CFO of the United States Postal Services.
Designed by Derry Noyes of Washington, D.C. and photographed by Sally Andersen-Bruce, each of the 10 stamp designs features a formerly homeless dog or cat from an animal shelter. Each pet was chosen to represent the many pets who are surrendered to shelters each year because their owners can no longer care for them.
According to the US Postal Service Stamps To The Rescue website, Willow, the pretty gray cat was left in a box by the door of a Connecticut animal shelter as a kitten. The smiling brown and white terrier mix, Teddy, was part of an un-planned, un-wanted litter surrendered to an animal shelter by their owner. The yellow Lab is Trevor, who was abandoned with his litter mates at a construction site when they were about 9 weeks old. Bianca, they Torbi kitty, was part of a special senior-to-senior program that matched senior citizens with senior pets. Buddy, a purebred golden retriever, was purchased as a puppy from a pet store, then surrendered to a shelter when he developed serious hip problems at only 8 months of age. Peaches is the grey and white tabby. She was born underneath a porch before being trapped and taken to the shelter. The Aussie mix, Bindu Su was born to an unwanted mother already in the custody of an Australian Terrier rescue group. Frankie is a Birman mix. He was sick and unwanted when he, his mom, and his siblings were dumped at an animal shelter. Jake was eight weeks old when he was purchased at a pet shop on Thanksgiving. Shortly thereafter, he was surrendered to a shelter. And finally, Lucas, the stray orange tabby cat, scrounging for food, wandered into the yard of a shelter volunteer who rescued him and took him to the shelter.
Animal shelter staff and volunteers across the country are hoping the stamps bring attention to the plight of homeless animals and the great pets waiting for new homes in shelters and through rescue groups. “As one of the many volunteers for the local animal shelter, I am proud to see our mission being shared so beautifully and it gives me hope that we will see shelter adoptions increase as a result,” commented Julia Lilly, a volunteer for Cowtown Loves Animal Shelter Pets in Fort Worth, Texas. According to Martha Denton of the Richardson Humane Society, “I think the stamps are gorgeous and will do a lot to raise awareness, especially with Ellen DeGeneres involved. They are a great way to get our message out to the public.”
One of the first US postal service stamps with an animal-related social awareness message was a 1966 5-cent stamp promoting humane treatment of animals. In September 2002, a First-Class Neuter or Spay commemorative postage stamp was issued, that featured a puppy named Kirby and a kitten named Samantha. The postal service sold out of all 250 million of those stamps, by mid-2003. Dave Failor, executive director of USPS Stamp Services, says they still get letters calling for more stamps like them. The new Animal Rescue: Adopt a Shelter Petstamps are bound to be equally as popular, if not more so.