May 15, 2003


 Gunning for Elvis

Posted May 1, 2003


During the month of May, the American Partnership for Pets will make another push to promote the neuter/spay postage stamps, first put into circulation this past fall, by declaring May "Pledge to use the Neuter/Spay Stamps Month."

The APP, a coalition of organizations including the AVMA, is asking its partners to plug the stamps in May to keep sales high. "We want to encourage the post office to reprint," said Sara Khurody-Downs, president of Prevent a Litter Coalition Inc. She has been monitoring the stamps' progress and notes that the APP would like to set a post office record. The Elvis stamp holds the record for highest number of stamps printed, at 517 million.

The United States Postal Service issued the two commemorative stamps dedicated to spaying and neutering dogs and cats on Sept. 20, 2002 (see JAVMA, Sept. 15, 2002.) Each set includes a call to action: for spay/neuter information, call (888) pets-911 or visit Veterinarians may register on this public referral system for free.

"Of the 250 million that were originally printed, 219 million have been shipped by (U.S. Postal Service) central distribution," said Khurody-Downs. Although individual post offices do not keep track of how many of each kind of stamp they sell, she says anecdotal evidence indicates the neuter/spay sets are doing well.

"We are getting e-mails and comments from the public, local organizations, and veterinarians saying, 'My post office has sold out, they've reordered, or they keep selling out,' ... comments like that," she said. "So I think it is pretty fair to assume that we are doing very well."

While a social awareness stamp has never sold out before and it's not traditional for the U.S. Postal Service to reprint a commemorative stamp, Khurody-Downs is buoyed by the current public interest in the neuter/spay sets. In addition, in mid-April, the House of Representatives and Senate approved a bill that helps the USPS financially, which could hold stamp rates steady until 2006.

"That gives us even more of a strong position for these stamps to be reprinted, and helps the possibility of additional responsible pet care messages on future stamps," she said. "We are gunning for Elvis."

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