Puppy and Kitten Star on Newest U.S. Postage Stamps

DENVER, Sept. 20 /PRNewswire/ — A wistful-eyed puppy and kitten were featured today on two new 37-cent First-Class Neuter or Spay commemorative stamps issued by the U.S. Postal Service. The stamps are available at all post offices.

The Neuter or Spay stamps first day of issue ceremony will take place at 7:00 p.m. today at the American Humane Association’s Annual Conference at the Adam’s Mark in Denver. The Association is celebrating its 125th Anniversary.

Two hundred and fifty million Neuter or Spay self-adhesive 37-cent stamps have been printed. The selvage of the pane of 20 stamps features a toll-free telephone number, 1-888-pets911, and a Website address, http://www.pets911.com for customers to find veterinarians, other neuter/spay resources and special neuter/spay stamp events in their communities listed by ZIP Code.

“I share my home with pets and value the love and attention we exchange,” says dedicating official Ernesta Ballard, member of the presidentially appointed Board of Governors of the Postal Service.

“I am very pleased that the Postal Service will offer these stamps to help educate people about the importance of spaying and neutering. Stamps have been successfully used to highlight many important social issues. I expect these stamps to be popular and circulate their important message widely,” says Ballard.

Scheduled to join Ballard at the ceremony are Dr. Virginia Noelke, Chair, Citizens’ Stamp Advisory Committee; Timothy O’Brien, President, American Humane Association; Dr. Joe M. Howell, President, American Veterinary Medical Association; Sara Khurody-Downs, President, American Partnership for Pets (APP); Benji, international canine superstar, originally a stray dog adopted from an animal shelter by Joe Camp, Benji’s creator; Sylvester Black, Postal Service Vice President, Area Operations, Western Area; and Lloyd Wilkinson, Postmaster, Denver. Honored guests include George A. Boettger, U.S. Postal Service District Manager, Colorado/Wyoming District; Dr. Hope Tarr, Stamp Out Campaign Director (1996-2001); and Sally Andersen-Bruce, Photographer.

“As an animal lover myself, I’m delighted that the Postal Service is leading this new effort to raise public awareness of the importance of neutering or spaying companion animals to help prevent pet overpopulation and help avoid health and behavioral problems,” says Noelke. “These stamps continue the Postal Service’s proud tradition of highlighting important social issues.”

The Neuter or Spay stamps, designed by Derry Noyes of Washington, D.C.,portray a male puppy and a female kitten photographed by Sally Andersen-Bruce in a Connecticut animal shelter while they were awaiting adoption. Each was subsequently neutered and spayed and is now living happier and healthier in a loving adoptive home.

An estimated 70,000 cats and dogs are born each day in the United States. Eight to ten million animals are taken in by shelters, but the free roaming/feral population is estimated to be in the tens of millions. Animal shelters and veterinarians urge pet owners to spay or neuter their pets to prevent unwanted litters. Neutering and spaying pets can also lead to better health and longer lives.

“Spaying your female dog or cat virtually eliminates her chance of developing a uterine infection, uterine cancer and ovarian cancer and reduces the possibility that she might develop breast cancer. Neutering male dogs and cats will eliminate the possibility of testicular cancer, help prevent some diseases of the prostate and can sometimes help reduce aggression. Spaying or neutering your pet can also make them less likely to roam, run away or get into fights,” explains Dr. Howell.

Previous U.S. stamps featuring a pet cat and dog include the popular 13-cent stamp of a kitten and puppy issued in 1982 and the 32-cent Bright Eyes stamps issued in 1998. Several breeds of cats appeared on the block of four 22-cent American Cats stamps in 1988, and a puppy appeared on the 22-cent Love stamp issued in 1986. In addition, a frolicking dog was featured on the 5-cent Humane Treatment of Animals stamp in 1966. The issuance of the Neuter or Spay stamps is the culmination of a grassroots campaign by thousands of citizens, community leaders, animal health and welfare organizations,veterinarians and celebrities.

The Postal Service has the support of the American Partnership for Pets,an unprecedented coalition of more than 25 leading and influential animal health and welfare organizations, community animal care and control services and veterinarians. These organizations have set aside philosophical differences and united for a multi-year campaign that will use these stamps as a tangible tool to raise awareness of spay/neuter as a part of responsible pet ownership. (http://www.americanpartnershipforpets.org.)

“American Humane is honored to be a part of American Partnership for Pets,because we believe in its mission: to work toward a nation of no more unwanted and homeless pets,” says O’Brien. “The neuter/spay issue is so massive, it will truly take a collaborative effort to reach the public, and we are very excited that millions of people will be reached through the issuance of the neuter/spay commemorative stamps. Now, each time someone receives a letter,pays a bill, or buys stamps, they’ll be reminded of this very message-‘neuter/spay.'”

“The American Partnership for Pets could not be more grateful to the Postal Service for so sincerely working with us to make a difference for our nation’s pets. Their sensitive portrayal of the topic and the reach and prestige that they bring to this issue has united us in this common cause,”says Khurody-Downs.

Downs adds, “The issue is being promoted at neuter/spay stamp events in communities across the nation, with the support and enthusiasm of local postal employees. The Postal Service has the ability to deliver this important message to every heart and home in America. We are touched and thrilled by this outpouring of support, and believe we now have a very real chance of raising enough public awareness to end the tragedy of homeless pets once and for all.”

The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) and other animal health and welfare groups are also supporting the issuance of the Neuter or Spay stamps.

To see the Neuter or Spay stamps, visit the Postal Service Web site at http://www.usps.com and locate the online version of this press release by clicking on “News and Events” then “Philatelic News.”

Current U.S. stamps, as well as a free comprehensive catalog, are available toll free by calling 1 800 STAMP-24. In addition, a selection of stamps and other philatelic items are available in the Postal Store at http://www.usps.com.

Since 1775, the U.S. Postal Service has connected friends, families, neighbors and businesses by mail. It is an independent federal agency that visits 137 million homes and businesses every day and is the only service provider to deliver to every address in the nation. The Postal Servicereceives no taxpayer dollars for routine operations, but derives its operatingrevenues solely from the sale of postage, products and services. With annual revenues of more than $65 billion, it is the world’s leading provider of mail and delivery services, offering some of the most affordable postage rates in the world. The Postal Service delivers more than 46 percent of the world’s mail volume-some 207 billion letters, advertisements, periodicals and packagesa year-and serves 7 million customers each day at its 40,000 retail locationsnationwide.

The American Partnership for Pets (APP) was formed in response to the Postal Service’s Neuter or Spay stamp issuance, with a mission of working toward a nation of no more homeless and unwanted pets. A program of the Prevent a Litter Coalition, the growing number of visionary members include:Actors and Others for Animals, Alley Cat Allies, American Humane Association,American Veterinary Medical Association, Association of Professional Humane Educators, Best Friends Animal Sanctuary, Doing Things for Animals, The Doris Day Animal Foundation, FIREPAW, The Humane Society of the United States, In Defense of Animals, The Latham Foundation, National Animal Control Association, Noah’s Wish, North Shore Animal League America, Petsavers Foundation, Pets 911, PETsMART Charities (Funding Partner), Prevent a Litter Coalition, Snyder Foundation for Animals, State Humane Association ofCalifornia, Texas Federation of Humane Societies, Tony La Russa’s AnimalRescue Foundation, Tufts Animal Expo, United Animal Nations, VirginiaFederation of Humane Societies. These organizations are committed to settinga standard for collaborative approach to a societal issue.

SOURCE United States Postal Service Web Site: http://www.pets911.com http://www.pets911.com


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