Save a pet and the post office by buying stamps, and writing letters

buy a stamp, save the post office
buy a stamp, save the post office

I'm sure the promotion isn't meant to be read this way, but a campaign between Ellen DeGeneres, the U.S. Postal Service and a pet food company looks like buying new postage stamps of pet shelter cats and dogs will save a pet's life. If only Americans used postage stamps anymore.

"You buy the stamps. Halo buys the food for 1 million shelter pets," the Stamps to the Rescue website reads.

The implicit message is that if you buy a 44-cent stamp with a cute dog on it, food will be donated to the shelter and the dog will eat tonight. If not, goodbye Fido.

Buying the stamps may also help save the Postal Service, too. With the closing of some offices and the end of Saturday mail delivery being considered, the USPS could use all of the help it can get in bringing in money. But when was the last time you used a postage stamp? I still have plenty of Christmas stamps in my desk, and that's after my 5-year-old daughter found them and decided to use some as stickers.

Buying the new pet shelter stamps, which go on sale at post offices April 30 but are available online now, may not directly save a pet or the Postal Service from dying, but it's a nice thought that couldn't hurt. If more people wrote letters to grandma, then maybe the USPS wouldn't have to cut jobs. Although sending an e-mail to alert regulators of its plan to cut Saturday mail delivery service, as the Postal Service did, is sort of like cutting your own throat.

DeGeneres and the pet food company she co-owns plan to give one million meals to animal shelters across the country. The campaign's website has a thermometer-like tally of how many meals it has donated so far, and so far it's half way to its goal. The site makes it unclear if buying stamps is tied to the pet food donation, but let's assume it's not and that the pets will be fed whether you buy the stamps or not.

But if you don't buy the stamps, the Postal Service may want to look into new ways to get people to buy stamps: "Buy a stamp and write a letter to grandma. If you don't, the Postal Service may not be the only one to go out of business."

Originally published