What did the posters of lost pets mean at the beginning of the book White Noise by Don DeLillo?

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It was an immediate and electrifying success. The Chancellor went on to serve as adviser to Nixon, Ford and Carter before his death on a ski lift in Austria.
    At Fourth and Elm, cars turn left for the supermarket. A policewoman crouched inside a boxlike vehicle patrols the area looking for cars parked illegally, for meter violations, lapsed inspection stickers. On telephone poles all over town there are homemade signs concerning lost dogs and cats, sometimes in the handwriting of a child.

In the first, short chapter, DeLillo is establishing the protagonist/narrator's characterization and the setting, which includes place and mood, also called atmosphere. Parts of the atmosphere that...

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