Pets Go Postal on First Class “Forever Pets” Stamps

Seal your letters with a kiss and a lick! Pets are getting the first class treatment with the US Postal Service’s new “Forever Pets” stamp series.


What do a hermit crab, a Golden Retriever, a macaw and a tabby cat have in common? They’ve all been named to the “twenty animals” list that the US Postal Service created when developing their upcoming set of Forever Pets stamps.


Yes, images of the four aforementioned critters will join a dappled grey horse, rabbit, spotted kitten, chinchilla, gerbil, guinea pig, hamster, white mouse, tan and white puppy, green parakeets, iguana, tortoise, corn snake, gecko, goldfish and beta fish; all of which have been identified as companion pets that people just love having in their lives and whose images are thereby worthy of gracing a postage stamp – first class, no less.

It seems the Postal Service is responding to public opinion and their Citizen’s Stamp Advisory Committee (yep, one exists!) were the first to come up with the idea to include renditions of favorite pets on a series of stamps. Those posties, knowing how popular their “animal” and “floral” stamp series have been, decided it just had to happen.


While the exact date the Forever Pets series will roll off the press has yet to be revealed, it’s anticipated it will coincide with National Pet Month in May (this according to insider Sue Brennan, PR Spokesperson for the US Postal Service).


Under the category of “Interesting facts I bet you didn’t know”:


  • The US postal service issues about 30 different stamps each year,
  • The print run for this particular series will be approximately 400 million stamps, in 20 million booklets,
  • The Adopt a Shelter series was promoted by Ellen DeGeneres and resulted in a second issue being run to meet overwhelming demand.
  • Coming down the pipes will be a Star Trek and NASA mission series… is it me or do they just have to have William Shatner pitch this set.
  • Past animal postage stamps include Spay and Neuter in 2002, American Cats in 1988, American Dogs in 1984, Puppy and Kitten in 1982 and waaaay back in 1979, a German shepherd dog in harness led a vision-impaired man on the 15-cent stamp, Seeing For Me, issued in 1979.


The 20 Forever Pets images were taken by Belgian photographer Eric Isselee, who has shot more than 10,000 photos of over 450 animal species, starting in 2005 with his Life on White project — animals photographed against plain white backgrounds with initial subjects being endangered species images in Africa.


UPSPS Art Director Derry Noytes has been designing stamps for 30 years and confirms that with the Favorite Pets series, the goal was simply to capture the essence of each animal. “There’s no need for special effects. The animals speak for themselves. I love the variety of shapes, colors, textures and facial expressions.”

Mary Simpson
Mary Simpson

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