September 20, 2002

The Unprecedented American Partnership for Pets Thanks the US Postal Service for Two Extraordinary Social Awareness Stamps

DENVER, Sep 20, 2002 PRNewswire -- September 20, 2002 marked the First Day of Issue for two very special social awareness stamps dedicated to the responsible pet ownership message, Neuter or Spay. The ceremony was held at the American Humane Association's 125th Anniversary conference in Denver in front of an enthusiastic audience.

An estimated 8-10 million animals are taken in by our nation's animal shelters each year of which approximately 4-5 million are euthanized. Many of these pets would make wonderful companions if given the chance, but shelters cannot find new homes for them. Additionally experts estimate that there are tens of millions of free roaming and feral pets in our communities. Not only is this a heartbreaking issue, but also communities spend millions of dollars on animal care and control, and it is a public health and safety issue too.

"Americans have enormous hearts and we believe that if the general public were more aware of this issue, and understood better about responsible pet care, we could solve this tragedy together! We are therefore utterly delighted by these social awareness stamps, because of the tremendous reach and influence of the Postal Service in our communities. They have the ability to deliver this message into the homes and hearts of America," said Sara Khurody-Downs, President of the coordinating organization Prevent a Litter Coalition, Inc., who spoke on behalf of American Partnership for Pets (APP) at the ceremony.

"The American Partnership for Pets is an unprecedented and still growing coalition of more than twenty-five leading veterinarian and animal organizations and associations. These extraordinary partners understand the importance of standing together as Americans. They have set aside philosophical differences and are setting a standard for collaborative approach to a societal issue. The partnership will use these stamps as a tangible tool to raise national awareness about the tragedy of homeless animals and of the importance of spaying and neutering pets as a part of the solution," explained Ms. Khurody-Downs. "Spaying and neutering is beneficial for many reasons. It has health benefits, can help to address behavioral issues and it prevents the births of accidental and unwanted litters."

APP has an exciting multi-year social awareness campaign in the works, and has already communicated its mission and initial program to thousands of veterinarians and animal care and control organizations nationwide inviting them to become community partners. Concurrently, the USPS distributed spay/neuter information to postmasters nationwide inviting them to hold spay/neuter events in their communities in collaboration with shelters and veterinarians. "We expect to see hundreds, perhaps thousands of collaborative events raising awareness in communities around the nation," said Khurody- Downs. The public and media can find events in their communities by visiting or calling toll free (English/Spanish) 1-888-PETS-911.

Selected by APP as the call to action, this free public service will direct the public to their local veterinarians and animal services by zip code! We are thrilled that the US Postal Service has included APP's call to action on every set of stamps and on posters displayed in post offices nationwide." In this way, we unite APP's national program with all of our community partners and with the public!

"APP is seeking the long-term, community and sustainable solutions," said Khurody-Downs. To fund this work, APP has licensed generous USPS vendors with their name and logo and educational message. A percentage of all APPS spay/neuter stamp "merchandise with a message" will benefit APP's work and research efforts. "What better way to raise further American awareness -- but to see the message on tee shirts, tote bags and postcards!" said Khurody- Downs. "American Partnership for Pets will also make corporate sponsorship opportunities available."

In addition, stamps will be available for sale at many local shelters for fundraising purposes. PETsMART stores will also carry the stamps at above face value with the difference going to PETsMART Charities, a tremendous partners of ours, who will use the funds for community spay/neuter programs. We owe a great debt to PETsMART Charities for providing us the seed money for this program," said Khurody-Downs. "They believed in our vision and have provided the partnership with not just financial support, but also tremendous encouragement!"

"The American Partnership for Pets looks forward to the day when every pet has a home and every owner is a responsible owner! We are therefore truly grateful to the US Postal Service for so sensitively depicting the issue on these social awareness stamps, and for so sincerely working with the American Partnership for Pets to make a difference," said Sara Khurody-Downs.

The American Partnership for Pets (APP) 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. The national partnership's growing number of influential 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 of California, Texas Federation of Humane Societies, Tony La Russa's Animal Rescue Foundation, Tufts Animal Expo, United Animal Nations, Virginia Federation of Humane Societies. These organizations are committed to setting a standard for collaborative approach to a societal issue.


For further information about American Partnership for Pets, the program and the partners, and educational merchandise please visit us at or email us at

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