Postmaster General John E. Potter has unveiled the Animal Rescue: Adopt a Shelter Pet commemorative postage stamps and announced the Stamps to the Rescue promotional campaign.

The Animal Rescue: Adopt a Shelter Pet commemorative stamps feature photographs of five cats and five dogs taken by veteran stamp photographer Sally Andersen-Bruce of New Milford.

All 10 animals were adopted, most of them from the Animal Welfare Society of New Milford.

"These stamps continue a postal service tradition of bringing attention to serious social issues of the day... one letter at a time," Mr. Potter said.

"This campaign will increase public awareness about sheltered pets and our hope is that it will encourage pet adoption and promote humane and responsible pet care," he added.

The stamps were introduced to the public on "The Ellen DeGeneres Show."

The Postal Service is working with Ms. DeGeneres and Halo, Purely for Pets, a holistic pet care company she co-owns, to promote the campaign and to bring greater attention to the cause.

"This is a subject that I am extremely passionate about," Ms. DeGeneres said. "By working together, we can find good homes for millions of adoptable, homeless and abandoned pets."

"And until they get adopted, I'm happy to say that Halo and I are giving one million meals to shelter pets that are waiting for you," she said.

Stamps to the Rescue is the name of the promotional campaign created by the Postal Service to provide additional information about the stamps and pet adoption.

The campaign includes posters featuring Ms. DeGeneres placed in post office across the nation and a new website at www.stampstotherescue.com.

The stamps can be pre-ordered at www.usps.com/shop, stampstotherescue.com, or by calling 1-800-STAMP-24.

Every year, six to eight million cats and dogs enter animal shelters, and of that number, nearly half are euthanized.

On April 30, Ms. DeGeneres will join Mr. Potter for the official stamp dedication ceremony at the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences in Hollywood, when the stamps will go on sale at post offices nationwide.