Political yard signs used in the recent campaigns of President Trump, President-Elect Joe Biden, and other candidates are being repurposed to widen the search for lost animals.

By Tracey L. Kelley
November 24, 2020
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Avid supporters of political candidates are doggedly dedicated to advertising their preferences, especially in front of their homes. But now that election season is over, many political yard signs end up in the trash or recycled. The founder of a pet recovery service in Pennsylvania wants to repurpose their wire frames for a worthy issue everyone can agree on: promoting awareness of lost cats and dogs. 

Bonnie L. Snyder runs the nonprofit Bellabon’s Pet Recovery Service in Muncy, Penn. She and her volunteer staff recover missing pets in the following counties: Bradford, Clinton, Columbia, Lycoming, Mifflin, Montour, Northumberland, Snyder, Sullivan, and Union, as well as a portion of Centre. Bellabon has even coordinated searches out of state. 

generic political yard sign
Credit: Liliboas / Getty

Snyder is asking people to donate their campaign signs so she can “pup-grade” their wire framing and stakes to create new missing pets alerts. In an interview with the Pennsylvania Real-Time News, Snyder said yard signs work well because “some municipalities don’t permit posters to be attached to utility poles and in at least two communities, someone has removed ones placed on poles.” 

Just as it’s illegal to take a political sign from someone’s private property, these repurposed missing animals signs couldn’t be removed by anyone, either. Homeowners grant permission to Snyder and her team to display them until a pet is found. 

Like most nonprofits, Snyder operates Bellabon’s Pet Recovery Service—named in memory of a special pooch, Bella—on a typical donation-based shoestring budget. One search and recovery operation could cost hundreds of dollars to print flyers, set up cameras, provide food, vet visits, and other necessities. These expenses are usually met through an annual GoFundMe fundraising campaign, but repurposing the framework from gifted political yard signs provides a much larger and sturdier photo opportunity at a lesser price.  

One look at the organization’s Facebook page tells the story of its success and the dedication of the volunteers: several missing animals, including cats, dogs, birds, pot-bellied pigs, and other beloved pets, are reunited with their human companions each week.  

If you want to learn more about how to donate signs, reach out to Snyder on social media through Bellabon's Facebook page.