Drive through South Jersey these days, and you might see a furry face standing 10 feet tall silently pleading for your compassion. From Sewell to Blackwood, shelter animals have began appearing on Jersey’s many billboards—and it’s all thanks to Michele Gambone.
Wanting to raise awareness about animal adoption in South Jersey, Gambone took to Clear Channel some 22 months ago to start buying up area billboards in hopes of finding homes for the animals at Franklinville’s Halo House Animal Resort. Alternately abandoned and homeless, Halo House’s dogs need all the help they can get, and Gambone’s program has provided just that, already having placed several dozen billboarded dogs in loving homes.
Gambone has sunk in much of her free time—and a fair amount of personal funds—into the adoption project, taking photos and writing slogans in addition to booking the billboards themselves.
“She has given freely of her time and money to make life good for so many animals,” mother-in-law Terry Gambone told the Courier Post. “She has rescued many animals from certain death and found homes for about 42 this year.”
In addition to starting the billboard program, Gambone’s efforts have extended into her personal life, with the Westville resident taking in three dogs in addition to the two she owned already. Which, of course, explains Terry’s opinion that Gambone has “done everything you can do in animal rescue.”
Gambone works with Don’t Bully Us to place the adoptable dogs, which raises awareness through social media promotion, real-life events, and online pet finders. However, the economic dire straights we find ourselves in has spiked the number of abandoned animals shelters find. However, Gambone’s billboard program seems to be the perfect antidote in that regard.
After all, it’s easy to ignore a commercial. But a giant billboard? Those are impossible to miss—especially with a cute dog staring back at you. With any luck, that’s all Halo House’s dogs need.