“Love Your Pet” is the core message of a 10-stamp booklet and a five-stamp souvenir sheet issued May 2 by Canada Post.
The nondenominated “P” permanent-rate stamps pay Canada’s domestic letter rate, currently 85¢.
As in 62 percent of American households, Canadians love their pets. More than half of Canadians provide homes for 10 million cats, 5.5 million dogs, and myriad rodents, reptiles, birds and fish. These animal companions offer love and loyalty, but come with some important responsibilities. This new stamp issue is a reminder of the simple but essential things owners need to do for their pets in return for all they give us.
Like Canada Post’s successful Adopt a Pet set released in 2013, the new Love Your Pet issue was developed with the Canadian Federation of Humane Societies to help raise awareness of the need for responsible pet ownership.
This new issue focuses on the basics: spaying or neutering, regular visits to the veterinarian, proper nutrition, effective identification, safe and comfortable surroundings, plenty of play and exercise, and lots of affectionate attention.
“Working on this project was a great way to remember all the creatures that have been dear to me in my life,” said Genevieve Simms, illustrator of the stamps.
Their appealing designs convey the pet’s warmth and comfort, augmenting their message about the importance of good pet ownership.
Of the artwork, designer Lara Minja of Lime Design in Edmonton, Alberta, said: “The illustrations bring to life various scenarios in which pets are being cared for responsibly. The whimsical and colorful brushstroke style brings some lightheartedness to the serious concerns around keeping pets safe, healthy and happy. Our intention is to engage viewers in such a way that they smile, while still understanding the underlying issues.”
“The warmth and personality of the artwork mirrors the warmth and personality of the animals,” added Minaj. “Each stamp shows the pet in a responsible environment — in the vet’s examination room or playing in the snow, for example. The seasonal imagery, which show pets indoors and outdoors at different times of the year, gives it a Canadian context.”
Lowe-Martin printed 400,000 10-stamp Love Your Pet booklets containing the five designs, or 800,000 of each stamp. The $8.50 booklet of 10 Permanent-rate stamps is Canada Post item 413981111.
An additional 150,000 five-stamp souvenir sheets, measuring 147 millimeters by 105mm, are Canada Post item 403981145. The sheets sell for $4.25 each.
The square 40mm by 40mm stamps of the souvenir sheet are said to be identical to those in the booklets: all were printed by Lowe-Martin in five-color offset lithography with varnish and PVA gum. Sharp-eyed collectors will determine whether noteworthy varieties exist when they have them in their hands.
Some 13,000 official first-day covers of the souvenir sheet only were canceled in Richmond, British Columbia, with a special heart-shaped pink “Love Your Pet” postmark with a heart overlapping a handprint overlapping a paw print. Priced at $5.25, these FDCs are Canada Post item 403981144.
Canada Post products are available at its website. Stamps and FDCs will be available by mail order from the National Philatelic Centre, Canada Post Corp., 75 St. Ninian St., Antigonish, NS B2G 2R8, Canada; or by telephone from the United States and Canada at 800-565-4362, and from other countries at 902-863-6550.
Canada’s stamps and stamp products are also available from many new-issue stamp dealers, and from Canada Post’s agent in the United States: Interpost, Box 420, Hewlett, NY 11557.
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