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Shelter pets get Ellen DeGeneres' stamp of approval

March 17, 2010 |  6:05 am

EllenEllen DeGeneres really wants you to adopt. She's so serious about wanting you to adopt that she's springing for dinner to prove it.

A million dinners, actually. And we hope you like stew. Because she wants you to adopt a shelter pet. And she has stew. A lot of stew.

The U.S. Postal Service's 2010 social awareness stamp campaign, "Animal Rescue: Adopt a Shelter Pet," is getting a big promotional push from DeGeneres and Halo Purely for Pets -- the company, part-owned by the newest "American Idol" judge, announced Wednesday that as the stamp is launched, it will donate a million servings of Spot's Stew to shelter pets awaiting adoption.

So how does this all work?

"The first thing you can do is adopt a shelter pet, just like it says on the stamp," DeGeneres said. "That's one less mouth to feed for these under-funded animal shelters across the country. More importantly, you'll give an abandoned pet a true home -- and change your own life in the process."

Got it. This Ministry correspondent is currently on Rescue Dog No. 4 and can vouch for those positive, life-changing effects. And of course, DeGeneres, the customer who bought into the company, hopes that new pet owners will put Halo on their shopping lists.

"We were honored to be approached by USPS for this campaign,” said Steve Marton, Halo's chief exec. "We're here to help make sure this amazing social awareness translates into a meaningful difference for shelter pets."

For those just waking up not quite ready for a lifelong commitment, however ...

Portia and ellen... the stamps can be pre-ordered at www.stampstotherescue.com; on April 30, Postmaster General John E. Potter will join Ellen for the official dedication ceremony at the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences in Hollywood, and the stamps will be available for sale nationwide that day. USPS awareness stamps have highlighted causes including Alzheimer's disease, sickle cell anemia, the Amber Alert program to help find missing children, and adoption -- but that one was about kids, not critters.

Ellen, of course, is not the only animal lover in her household. Wife Portia de Rossi on Monday happily kicked off the "I'm an Alley Cat Ally" campaign addressing issues with stray and feral cats. "The Trap-Neuter-Return approach is the only way to help contain the populations and save their lives," De Rossi said.

Good thing they're in agreement about their two cats and three dogs, because, DeGeneres told People Pets last year, "Most of them sleep in the bedroom with us."

So, the stamps are out April 30. The food is going to the organizations. The rescue pets, meanwhile, are available immediately from local shelters, where they often end up through no fault of their own

Adopt. Spay or neuter. Love. 

Oh, yeah, put stamps on stuff and put it in the mail, too.

-- Christie D'Zurilla

Photos: (top) Ellen DeGeneres arrives at the Daytime Emmy Awards on Aug. 30 in Los Angeles. Credit: Matt Sayles / Associated Press

(bottom) Portia de Rossi and DeGeneres attend the Art of Elysium 10-year anniversary gala in L.A. on Jan. 12, 2008. Credit: Richard Hartog / Los Angeles Times

For more Ellen DeGeneres dispatches from the Ministry of Gossip, click here and scroll down. Charity-related dispatches are here, and we have stuff on celebs and their animals too.

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