Nuh-uh, Internet!

Speaking of e-mail forwards, I’m seeing one that says not to buy the US Postal Service “Stamps to the Rescue” because the money from sale of these stamps is going to HSUS.  As far as I know, this is 100% false but I hope someone will correct me if I’m wrong.

The concern expressed in the e-mail is that people will be motivated to buy these stamps thinking they are helping shelter pets when in fact the money is going to HSUS which spends less than 1% of its annual budget to help shelter pets.  It is true that many people support HSUS because they believe they are helping shelter pets in doing so.  It’s also true that HSUS gives only a microscopic percentage of its millions to shelters who actually care for pets while HSUS itself does not operate a single animal shelter.  And finally, the USPS website lists HSUS as one of the supporters of its Stamps to the Rescue program.

Where the misinformation comes in is that the money from the sale of these stamps goes to HSUS.  I have found nothing to verify this claim.  My assumption is that money from the sale of these stamps, like the sale of other stamps, goes to the USPS.

The reason USPS is selling these stamps is to raise awareness of the millions of shelter pets needlessly killed in shelters every year.  USPS has sold many stamps in past as part of a social awareness campaign – you might have seen the pink ribbon stamps for breast cancer awareness for example.  Unlike the breast cancer awareness stamps, which sold at a higher than normal price with the extra money being donated to breast cancer research, the rescue stamps sell for regular price.  So there is no extra money to be donated to anyone.

There are donations being made in conjunction with the sale of the stamps but it is not money being sent to HSUS.  It is food being donated to shelter pets.  Specifically:

During the launch of the stamps, Halo will be donating a million meals to animal shelters around the country.

One of the owners of Halo is Ellen DeGeneres.  Maybe you like her.  Maybe you think she sucks.  Maybe Halo is great pet food, maybe not, I don’t know.  But let’s be clear:  All she is doing with regard to the sale of these stamps is lending her celebrity to promote awareness of the plight of shelter pets and giving away a bunch of Halo pet food to shelters.  End of story.

I’m planning to buy these stamps and encourage my boss to do so as well.  Just because I strongly disagree with HSUS’ fundraising tactics and lobbying activities, I’m not going to automatically kill every single thing they’ve got their name attached to just for the sake of doing so.  They probably signed on to the stamps campaign to help get themselves more donations.  They are probably counting on someone who sees their organization listed as a supporter to assume that HSUS must help shelter pets too, just like this stamp program is helping shelter pets.  I agree that’s shady and misleading.  But HSUS gets no money so far as I know from the sale of these stamps.  Their name does not appear on the stamps – only the words “Animal Rescue – adopt a shelter pet”.  So I’m going to support the program because the misleading tactics likely behind the HSUS support of this program are far outweighed by the potential benefit of raising awareness of the plight of shelter pets by putting these stamps on as many letters as possible.

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14 Comments

  1. Hi, David Yaskulka here from Halo, Purely for Pets.

    I wanted to thank you for helping clarify some details around the Stamps to the Rescue campaign.

    You are absolutely correct. Specifically:

    1) The stamps are to raise awareness to encourage people to Adopt a Shelter Pet. No money from the stamps is donated anywhere.

    2) In celebration of these wonderful stamps, Halo and our co-owner Ellen DeGeneres are donating 1 Million Meals of Halo Spot’s Stew to animal rescue organizations around the country.

    The Humane Society of the United States, along with Freekibble.com (which I’m thrilled to see you support!) have agreed to help us select exemplary shelters to which we will donate. But all the food donations will go directly to the shelters.

    Readers can help us get to 1 Million Meals as fast as possible by visiting http://www.halopets.com/help.

    Again, thanks for setting the record straight, and encouraging everyone to support animal rescue!

    All best wishes,
    David Yaskulka
    Halo, Purely for Pets
    http://www.halopets.com

    Reply
  2. Thank you for this post, and for clarifying this issue. I didn’t even realize the USPS had this series!

    Reply
  3. J

     /  April 17, 2010

    Looks like a great campaign to me. Free food for shelters and free publicity for shelter pets? Win-win.

    Reply
  4. Matt

     /  April 18, 2010

    If you do a search for “shelter pet stamps” on the USPS website, you can even buy First day covers, mugs with the pets pictures on them, etc….

    Reply
  5. “End of story.”
    Not even close. Ellen lends her celebrity in exchange for PROMO of Halo pet food. From that she earns income and we KNOW she donates to HSUS. Any income to Ellen is potentially income to HSUS. Nope, can’t support anything that would lead to that.

    Reply
    • S-T-R-E-T-C-H. As I said in the post, there are some unsavory aspects involved but IMO they are far outweighed by the potential benefits. But carry on with your blind obedience, watch out for the gray areas and whatever you do, avoid thinking at all costs.

      Reply
  6. Ellen

     /  April 19, 2010

    the stamps go on sale Apr 30th and will sell like blockbusters because they have very cute cats & dogs on them. The USPS knows this, and is partly the reason for the series. The Spay & Neuter stamps a few years ago sold out within weeks. I guarantee the average person buying these stamps has absolutely no interest at all in HSUS, PETS or Halo dog food, only that there are cute stamps. All revenue from the sale of the stamps goes to the USPS only.

    Reply
  7. BADKarma

     /  April 19, 2010

    Irrespective of what moron celebutard endorses them, or owns stock in the company, for those who are unaware, “Halo” dog and cat “food” is Vegan. It has no animal protein of any kind. To wit: It is a veganist jihad attempt to kill your domestic dogs and cats by attrition through malnourishment.

    Numerous actual, licensed veterenarians throughout the U.S. have condemned this product as unhealthful and unfit to feed to carnivorous animals – especially cats, which don’t produce their own taurine.

    Think about that, think about the actual agenda of the animal “rights” movement, (similar to a bowel movement, but neither satisfying nor useful), and think about whether you REALLY want to do anything which in any way promotes these terrorist nut-jobs’ attempts to annihilate domestic animals and outlaw all human contact of any sort with any animals.

    Reply
    • I just visited their website and these are the food listed for dogs: *Halo Spots Stew, Cans*

      – Wholesome Chicken Recipe – Wholesome Beef Recipe – Succulent Salmon Recipe – Wholesome Lamb Recipe

      *Halo Spot’s Stew, Adult Dry*

      – Wholesome Chicken – Wild Salmon

      *Halo Spot’s Stew, Puppy Dry*

      – Wholesome Chicken – Wild Salmon

      These are the foods listed for cats: *Halo Spot’s Stew, Cans*

      – Homestyle Chicken & Beef Recipe – Wholesome Beef Recipe – Homesyle Beef & Wild Salmon Recipe – Wholesome Chicken Recipe – Wholesome Turkey Recipe – Succulent Salmon Recipe – Wholesome Lamb Recipe

      *Halo Spot’s Stew, Dry Indoors*

      – Wholesome Chicken – Wild Salmon

      *Halo Spot’s Stew, Dry Senstive*

      – Seafood Medley – Wholesome Turkey

      Sorry to have to drop a critical thinking bomb here but as far as I can tell, none of these foods are vegan. In fact, Halo doesn’t even list a single vegan food.

      Reply
  8. When someone decides to do a series of stamps celebrating the people who responsibly breed dogs and cats and participate in health testing to eradicate diseases, I’ll buy them. As long as the HSUS is brainwashing people to *only* adopt pets and vilifies purebred animals and as long as dogs are imported from other countries and from U.S. territories to inflate the shelter dog population, I’ll pass on the postage stamp propaganda.

    Reply
  9. BADKarma, It’s the HSUS new food called Humane Choice that’s vegan pet food (and imported from WAY south of the border).

    Ellen’s Halo chow has lots of real meat in it (or it did before she bought in).

    HSUS and Ellen really need to decide which side of the fence they are actually on. Makes no sense for Ellen to make money from meat based animal food and then donate to the vegan HSUS agenda. Nor does it make sense for HSUS to repeatedly tout and crown Ellen for her donations while knowing that they are profiting from her meat selling business.

    I don’t trust either of these forked tongued snakes and it’s no stretch to think Ellen gives money to HSUS because we KNOW she does. I can find plenty of other ways to help with shelters without bargaining with the devils.

    And maybe YesBiscuit should do a wee bit of research on a topic BEFORE posting instead of panting “yes, yes” to get a biscuit.

    Reply
    • I did my research and gave my opinion. As of yet, nothing has contradicted my main points – that HSUS does not get money from the sale of these stamps and that to me, the benefits of spreading awareness about shelter pets outweigh the risks of positive public exposure for entities I disagree with.
      I tend to think the overwhelming majority of the stamp using public will see nothing more than doggies and kitties. Some of them will notice that it says something about rescue on the stamp. A statistically zero portion of the population will waste time arguing about the conspiracies behind the program on the internet. [Enter, stage left].

      Reply
  10. Finessa

     /  April 21, 2010

    Good article YesBiscuit!

    I agree about the cost of the stamps vs where the money goes. When the USPS did the Breast Cancer Awareness stamps, the stamps cost more so money could go to research. Stamps that cost the same as regular stamps are only paying for the USPS. Too bad the USPS leaders have no clue how controversial they became when they put up the HSUS logo as a supporter.

    If people wish to protest, then write to the US Postmaster and explain why the HSUS makes a poor sponsor and how it has alienated a sizable population. Explain how little money HSUS actually donates to help shelter animals.

    I will probably buy the stamps because they do what they say, promote awareness. If I want to help a shelter I will give money to the shelter. Then I will know where it is going. I don’t like HSUS, but that doesn’t mean if they actually promote something that is worthwhile I should then go out and throw dirt at the worthwhile goal. That seems to be what some people have lost sight of…the end goal. This time the means is justifiable as good towards the ends, HSUS has not profited, just managed to grab some of the spotlight without actually helping animals, which they do so well.

    Karen

    Reply
  11. It is simple.

     /  April 28, 2010

    Breeding leads to pet overpopulation, which leads to shelter overpopulation, which leads to euthanasia. Simple. If people want to make money by breeding their “champion” pets, then let them pay licensing fees and taxes to offset the costs borne by the cash-strapped shelters who deal daily with the messy reality of all those unwanted puppies and kittens with a bottle of blue juice. Breeders are the problem, be they well-intentioned “fanciers”, simple-minded back-yard breeding yahoos, get-a-life kennel-clubbers, or idiots who want to bring Muffy back to life with a clone. Blaming the HSUS is Rovian in its transparency, and in its simple evil. Shame on you.

    Reply

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