Commemorative stamps to enter circulation Sept. 20
Millions of people are expected to view the Pets911 Web site and call a special bilingual, toll-free phone line over the coming year, after the much-awaited "Neuter or Spay" postage stamps go on sale this month.
On Sept. 20, the U.S. Postal Service will issue the commemorative stamps to raise awareness of the benefits of neutering and spaying. The stamps feature a kitten and a puppy awaiting adoption in an animal shelter, both of them now in happy homes. After the first-day-of-issue ceremony in Denver, the stamps will go on sale nationwide at all post offices.
The AVMA has joined other animal health and welfare organizations in endorsing the issuance of the stamps. Collectively, these organizations are known as the American Partnership for Pets, www.americanpartnershipforpets.org. The partnership's mission is to work toward a nation without unwanted, homeless, abandoned pets.
Over the next year, U.S.P.S. headquarters and 800,000 post offices will join the AVMA and the partnership in building awareness of the health, behavioral, and societal benefits of spaying and neutering pets not intended for breeding purposes. They will develop educational and promotional materials, and events, designed to capitalize on the impact of the stamps' neuter/spay message.
Each set of stamps will include a call to action: "For spay/neuter information call 1-888-pets-911 or visit www.pets911.com."
The Pets911 site encourages quality care for pets nationwide by connecting the public with animal health and welfare organizations and services in their community, searchable by zip code.
Stamp purchasers who go to the Web site for spay/neuter and other health care services will be prompted to enter their zip code to obtain a list of veterinarians whose clinics are in their area. This is an ideal opportunity for veterinarians to make their availability for professional services known to the public.
Veterinary practices can partner in the educational effort by registering at www.pets911.com, or by contacting Colleen or Julie at (602) 824-6283. Or e-mail them at firstname.lastname@example.org, specifying "Veterinary Information" on the subject line.
Local veterinary organizations and veterinary practices can also become "community partners" by hosting spay/neuter stamp events in cooperation with their local post office and helping distribute educational materials.
The General Session on July 15 at the AVMA Annual Convention in Nashville included an unveiling of the stamps. Attendees responded enthusiastically when the faces of the puppy and kitten featured on the stamps appeared on monitors on each side of the stage.
Usually the U.S.P.S. issues 80 million commemorative stamps, but because of the degree of interest shown in this stamp, the agency initially bumped up the quantity to 125 million, and then to 200 million.
For more information about the AVMA's role in this initiative, call (800) 248-2862, Ext. 6618.