For the first time since 2019, visitors will see a selection of adorable, adoptable cats and dogs in Macy’s Holiday Windows from November 18, 2022 – January 1, 2023.

SAN FRANCISCO (November 7, 2022)— Today, the San Francisco SPCA and Macy’s Union Square announced the return of live rescue animals to its 36th annual Holiday Windows, available for viewing from November 18, 2022, through January 1, 2023. For the first time since 2019, adorable cats and dogs—all available for adoption through the SF SPCA—will delight shoppers and passersby on Thursdays through Sundays from 12-5 p.m. To celebrate the partnership, Macy’s has donated $5,000 to the SF SPCA to support their year-round lifesaving work helping animals who are ill, injured, homeless or in need of an advocate.

“We are thrilled to bring live animals back to Macy’s Union Square for the 36th annual Holiday Windows,” said Dr. Jennifer Scarlett, SF SPCA CEO. “This favorite tradition not only brings joy to holiday shoppers, but more importantly, it has helped more than 10,000 animals find loving homes. This ongoing partnership with Macy’s and their $5,000 donation will help to save lives year-round.”

The Holiday Windows at Macy’s Union Square will provide a preview of the many pets available for adoption this holiday season through the SF SPCA. Those looking for a new best friend can view adoptable animals at sfspca.org/adopt.

In order to serve pets year-round, donation drop-offs will be placed on the 8th floor in Macy’s Backstage, accepting new, unwrapped essential supplies for pets and their owners. Guests can donate supplies such as towels, cat and dog toys and more. Alongside the live cats and dogs, shoppers will also be able to view videos in the Macy’s Holiday Windows—both live streams from the SF SPCA’s adoption center as well as videos of SF SPCA shelter alumni. Santa will make special appearances on the live streams, which will be available for viewing online at sfspca.org/holiday

“Macy’s Union Square is excited to continue this beloved tradition, which has brought generations of San Franciscans joy and helped thousands of animals find their forever homes,” said John Sparks, Macy’s Union Square store manager. “We are thankful for our long-standing partnership with the San Francisco SPCA and look forward to sharing the season of joy with customers as they continue the tradition of visiting these adorable animals in our Holiday Windows as part of their holiday shopping experience.”

The SF SPCA’s Animal Assisted Therapy team will also bring their specially trained therapy animals to Macy’s Union Square this holiday season. Shoppers will be able to interact with the animals, whose surprise visits are meant to bring a little extra holiday cheer to Macy’s Union Square.

SF SPCA is grateful for the support of sponsors, including the Nestle Purina PetCare Company. To learn more about these experiences and donate to support the SF SPCA’s lifesaving programs, visit sfspca.org/holiday.

# # #

About the San Francisco SPCA

The San Francisco SPCA is an independent, community-supported, nonprofit animal welfare organization dedicated to saving, protecting, and providing immediate care for cats and dogs who are homeless, ill, or in need of an advocate. The SF SPCA also works long-term to educate the community, reduce the number of unwanted kittens and puppies through spaying and neutering, and improve the quality of life for animals and their human companions. The organization does not receive government funding.

For more information, visit sfspca.org.

About Macy’s

Macy’s, the largest retail brand of Macy’s, Inc., serves as the style source for generations of customers. With one of the nation’s largest e-commerce platforms powered by macys.com and mobile app, paired with a nationwide network of stores, Macy’s delivers the most convenient and seamless shopping experience, offering great values in apparel, home, beauty, accessories, and more. Macy’s gives customers even more ways to shop and own their style through an off-price assortment at Macy’s Backstage and at our highly curated and smaller store format, Market by Macy’s. Each year, Macy’s provides millions with unforgettable experiences through Macy’s 4th of July Fireworks® and Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade® and helps our customers celebrate special moments, big and small. We’re guided by our purpose—to create a brighter future with bold representation—that empowers more voice, choice, and ownership for our colleagues, customers, and communities.

About Nestle Purina PetCare Company

Many thanks to our longtime supporter, Nestle Purina PetCare Company. Purina believes pets and people are better together, which is why they support events like Holiday Windows. Purina supports the SF SPCA’s mission to put pets and the people who love them together every day. Purina generously donates all of the food and litter for the SF SPCA shelter animals who are waiting for loving people like you to take them home. Meow, woof, thank you, Purina!

Although National Pit Bull Awareness Month (October) has ended, we’re celebrating this loyal and loving breed here at the SF SPCA all year. With their broad, smiley faces and floppy ears, anyone who’s ever loved one of these dogs knows how affectionate, playful, and goofy they can be.  

The term “Pit Bull” officially applies to three breeds: the Staffordshire Bull Terrier, the American Staffordshire Terrier, and the American Pit Bull Terrier. Any dog with such heritage or appearance can be labeled a “Pit Bull.” And unfortunately, mainly due to the behavior of humans, this “breed” is also viewed as dangerous and aggressive. 

Here, we push back on some of the most common stereotypes about Pit Bull-type dogs.  

Myth #1: Pit Bulls are more dangerous than other dogs 

Peer-reviewed studies examining “dog-bite-related fatalities” (DBRF) conclude that most DBRFs are owed to preventable factors like mistreatment, poor handling, and isolation—not breed. Additionally, in German state-regulated temperament tests, dogs deemed “dangerous” by the public responded similarly to dogs viewed as “friendly,” contradicting breed-based biases.  

Myth #2: Pit Bulls are more aggressive than most dogs 

Also unrelated to breed, aggression is a “context-dependent behavior and most often fear-based, according to the American Veterinary Society of Animal Behavior. Identifying triggers and needs, ruling out medical contributors, and positive behavioral training are proven effective treatments for aggression in any dog breed. 

Myth #3: Pit Bulls have locking jaws 

There’s no evidence a Pit Bull’s jaws are anatomically different from other dog breeds, and peer-reviewed studies reveal the power of a dog’s bite is related to its overall size and strength. A locked jaw in any animal is a physical ailment that requires veterinary medical intervention and cannot be engaged and released at will.  

Myth #4: Pit Bull specific legislation keeps people safe 

Breed-specific laws do nothing to keep people safer—even the CDC opposes them. In areas where bans are in place, Pit Bull guardians tend to restrict dogs’ outdoor time and socialization, which can ultimately worsen or even create behavior issues. Furthermore, labeling certain dog breeds can create a false sense of safety with other types. All dogs, regardless of their breed, if unknown, should be handled with as much care and caution as any other dog. 

Myth #5: If adopting a Pit Bull, choose a puppy so you can shape its personality 

A dog’s personality is as individual as ours and is innate. A dog’s character and traits don’t fully reveal themselves until adulthood. Suppose a would-be Pit Bull (or any dog breed) guardian has a particular personality in mind. In that case, it’s best to adopt a grown dog whose traits like energy level, degree of submissiveness to humans, or dog aggression is easily determined. 

 

For information about adopting a Pit Bull-type dog at SF SPCA, contact adoptions@sfspca.org And, if your dog of any breed displays behavior that concerns you, reach out to our Behavior team at behaviorinfo@sfspca.org.

Oct. 27, 2022 — The San Francisco Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SF SCPA) is offering a three-month paid Community Medicine Education Training (CoMET) program. In partnership with Young Community Developers (YCD), this program is designed to reduce the barriers to entry for the animal well-being field while also supporting the SF SPCA’s broader efforts to engage and support communities historically underrepresented in the veterinary field.

CoMET provides an opportunity for individuals to learn about the field, professional paths and opportunities, and develop essential skills by participating in lectures, workshops and assisting at SF SPCA’s various clinics (Community Veterinary Clinic, Mobile Vaccine Clinic and Spay/Neuter Clinic). Upon completion of the program, participants will have broad, introductory experience for work in a variety of roles in animal welfare, receive a certificate, and can apply to be considered for a full-time position at the SF SPCA. There will be two trainees in each CoMET cohort.

According to a 2020 report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, roughly 92% of veterinarians and veterinary technicians and 74% of animal shelter workers are white. A more diverse veterinary workforce is necessary to keep pace with an increasingly diverse society, and by removing barriers and creating inclusive work environments, we can improve access and quality of veterinary care.

Maddie’s Fund®, a national family foundation established by Dave and Cheryl Duffield to revolutionize the status and well-being of companion animals, is providing $300,000 in funding over three years for CoMET.

“We are incredibly grateful to Maddie’s Fund for their generous grant in support of our Community Medicine Education Training program,” said Dr. Jennifer Scarlett, SF SPCA Chief Executive Officer. “Thanks to Maddie, this support will help make veterinary medicine more accessible to those who have been traditionally underrepresented in the field. We are honored to partner with Maddie’s Fund in making animal welfare more inclusive.”

“Maddie’s Fund is proud of our long history of support for the San Francisco SPCA,” said Mary Ippolitti-Smith, Executive Leadership Team, Maddie’s Fund. “CoMET exemplifies how we can co-create meaningful and authentic partnerships with community, with the potential to not only impact CoMET graduates but the entire animal well-being field. CoMET continues the SF SPCA’s legacy of innovation as the team continues to find new ways to improve and change the work we do on behalf of the people and pets in our community.”

CoMET comes at a time when the nation is facing a severe veterinary staffing shortage that is only predicted to worsen in the coming years. Helping develop skilled professionals in the veterinary field will increase the SF SPCA’s capacity to serve our community of animals and their humans.

###

About San Francisco SPCA 

The San Francisco SPCA is an independent, community-supported nonprofit animal welfare organization dedicated to saving, protecting, and providing immediate care for cats and dogs who are homeless, ill, or in need of an advocate. The SF SPCA also works long-term to educate the community, reduce the number of unwanted kittens and puppies through spaying and neutering, and improve the quality of life for animals and their human companions. The organization does not receive government funding.

For more information, visit sfspca.org.

About Maddie’s Fund 

Maddie’s Fund® is a family foundation established in 1994 by Dave and Cheryl Duffield and is the fulfillment of a promise to their inspirational dog, Maddie. She provided them much joy for over ten years and continues to inspire them today.

The Foundation has awarded over $265 million in grants toward increased community collaborations and live outcomes, pioneering shelter medicine education and establishing foster care as a standard across the U.S.

Maddie’s Fund proudly offers the industry a national voice, important funding opportunities for bold ideas, learning resources and access to collaborate and share innovative solutions. The Foundation invests its resources in a commitment to keeping pets and people together, creating a safety net of care for animals in need and operating within a culture of inclusiveness and humility. #ThanksToMaddie.

Innovative new model provides low-cost services and increase access to care in community with very limited veterinary services

San Francisco, October 20, 2022 — San Francisco SPCA, elected officials, community leaders, and pet guardians are celebrating the opening of the organization’s new community veterinary clinic, an innovative low-cost model in the Excelsior District that will address access to care issues in the City’s southern neighborhoods.

Currently, there are very limited veterinary services in the Excelsior and opening a clinic helps under-resourced families access treatment and care for their dogs and cats. By shifting focus to the Excelsior District, the SF SPCA will redouble its commitment to providing veterinary care for the city’s most underserved pets.

“We believe that all animals deserve access to veterinary care,” said Dr. Jennifer Scarlett, CEO of the SF SPCA. “By offering a fixed menu of services at a lower cost, this clinic will help prevent small issues from becoming larger ones that require more expensive treatments. The new clinic will prevent unnecessary illness and suffering, while helping keep pets out of shelters and in the loving homes of neighborhood families. We are excited to partner with the Excelsior community on this great project, and we’re so grateful for the community input that helped shape this clinic.”

The new clinic location, 4527 Mission Street, was chosen based on the organization’s experience working in the neighborhood for the past 10 years, including hosting a monthly free vaccine clinic in nearby Visitacion Valley. To ensure the clinic is truly a resource for the local community, the SF SPCA also partnered with a community-based consulting group to conduct focus groups. The clinic’s location is near several transportation hubs, allowing easy access for those who need it. The SF SPCA also examined best practices from other organizations that provide similar services in other parts of the country.

The first of its kind in San Francisco, the clinic offers a fixed menu of services that cover most veterinary needs—aside from urgent care and more involved diagnostics—allowing for more animals to be seen at a lower price point. The clinic offers services like examinations, vaccinations, treatment for skin and ear problems, and flea and tick prevention. The low-cost preventative model focuses on high-quality incremental care, with clear up-front communication about the costs and options available. No emergency services are available at this location.

“There is a desperate need for affordable veterinary care at the moment,” said Dr. Scarlett. “We believe this innovative model can address that issue while serving as a model for future veterinary clinics across the region.”

The community clinic is an expansion of the Walk-In Wellness Clinic that the SF SPCA piloted at its Mission Campus for three years. The success of that endeavor helped encourage the organization to build upon its offering and relocate it to an area that is more accessible to traditionally under-resourced communities.

The SF SPCA will continue to offer high-quality veterinary services at the organization’s Mission hospital at 201 Alabama Street. At that location, the SF SPCA both serves the public and provides medical care for the thousands of homeless animals who enter its shelter each year – many of which would not get care elsewhere.

The SF SPCA is also working to address the nationwide veterinary shortage through its advocacy work, partnerships with shelters throughout the state, and through a new training program for veterinary assistants, CoMET (Community Medicine Education Training Program). CoMET provides an opportunity for historically underrepresented individuals to learn and develop essential skills needed to succeed in the veterinary field. The first two CoMET graduates, who are from the City’s southern neighborhoods, are now working at the SF SPCA’s Community Veterinary Clinic.

###

About the San Francisco SPCA

The San Francisco SPCA is an independent, community-supported nonprofit animal welfare organization dedicated to saving, protecting, and providing immediate care for cats and dogs who are homeless, ill, or in need of an advocate. The SF SPCA also works long-term to educate the community, reduce the number of unwanted kittens and puppies through spaying and neutering, and improve the quality of life for animals and their human companions. The organization does not receive government funding.

For more information, visit sfspca.org

With the proper preparation and common sense precautions, you and your pet can safely enjoy the spooky season together. Download our printable PDF SF SPCA Halloween Tips with great advice for keeping your pet safe and happy during the Halloween festivities. And read on for additional tips from our very own Dr. Jennifer Scarlett.

“Keep pets inside the house whether you’re out trick-or-treating or at home passing out candy,” advises Dr. Jennifer Scarlett, SF SPCA President. “Pets are safest indoors, away from frightening noises and potential hazards. If you’re passing out candy, consider putting your pet in a separate room so they don’t accidentally slip out the door.”

If the constant influx of strangers to the door spooks your pet, keep them in a quiet and comfortable room with a bed or crate, favorite toy, treat, or food puzzle. Some pets can benefit from having the TV or radio on. Calming pheromone products like Adaptil spray and collars work well for dogs and cats. If anxiety is still a problem, talk to your veterinarian or contact the SF SPCA’s Behavior Specialty Clinic.

“This is also a good time to ensure that your pets are microchipped and wearing an identification tag,” said Dr. Scarlett. “Lost animals at a shelter are far more likely to find their way home if they’re microchipped.”

Pet owners are encouraged to register with a universal microchip database such as petlink.net. Take a current picture of your pet as an added precaution.

Additional safety tips:

 

Happy (and Safe!) Halloween from your friends at the San Francisco SPCA

Ready To Adopt?