Canadians love their pets. More than half our households are home to a furry, feathered or finned friend – including some 10 million cats, 5.5 million dogs, and myriad rodents, reptiles, birds and fish. Our animal companions not only offer us unconditional love and loyalty, but also come with some important responsibilities. This issue reminds us of the simple – and essential – things we need to do for our pets in return for all they give to us.
Like the successful Adopt a Pet stamp set, released in 2013, the 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 time, we focus 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 attention.
Of the stamp images, designer Lara Minja says, “The illustrations bring to life various scenarios in which pets are being cared for responsibly. The whimsical and colourful 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. “
Minja adds, “The warmth and personality of the artwork mirrors the warmth and personality of animals; its emotional appeal affects both pet owners and non-pet owners, alike. 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.”