Today the Animal Rescue/Adopt a Shelter Pet stamps will go on sale at all post offices nationwide.  These stamps are the latest US Postal Service’s social awareness stamps. The US Postal Service is working with Ellen DeGeneres and Halo (her holistic pet care company) to increase public awareness about shelter pets and encourage pet adoption.

And when you buy the stamps, Halo buys the food for one million shelter pets. 

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.

Check out these beautiful stamps.  Each one of these animals was a shelter pet.  Photographer Sally Anderson-Bruce found these beautiful, adopted pets in her hometown of New Milford, Connecticut. Each of these animals was given a good home thanks to animal rescue shelters and the families who adopted them.  You can view each pet’s bio here at the USPS Stamps to the Rescue website.  Just move your mouse over the picture to read their story.

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.

But the 2010 shelter pets stamps are not the first on animal welfare issues.

The 5-cent Humane Treatment of Animals commemorative stamp was first placed on sale on April 9, 1966, at New York, New York, where 100 years prior, the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals was founded by Henry Bergh.

A dog appears on the stamp, urging humane treatment in the name of millions of dogs and other domestic and wild animals in the United States.  Artist Norman Todhunter designed this stamp.

The Postal Service issued two 37-cent Neuter or Spay commemorative stamps on September 20, 2002.. The stamps, designed by Derry Noyes of Washington, DC, based on photographs taken, again, by Sally Andersen-Bruce.

This awareness stamp brought attention to the thousands of shelter animals waiting for homes and to urge owners to spay or neuter their pets in order to combat the problem of animal overpopulation. Spaying and neutering pets can lead to better health and longer lives. Kirby the puppy and Samantha the kitten featured on the stamps were adopted from no-kill animal shelters. 

The US Postal Service has had a long-time tradition of raising public awareness of social issues.  With these stamps and the generosity of Halo Pet Products, hopefully more animals will make their way out of the shelters and into warm and loving homes. 

With squeaky toys!

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