Puppies, kittens and more decorate SF windows

Editor's note: This article was updated for the 2019 holiday season

For more than 30 years Macy’s Union Square and the San Francisco SPCA have been an important part of San Francisco’s holiday experience. From Friday, Noovember 22 through the holiday season, thousands of shoppers and holiday revelers can witness a whole lot of cuteness inside Macy’s decorated windows. The animals can’t help themselves as they tumble and paw for your attention, your donations, and the prospect of a new home. New this year, chincillas, rabbits and guinea pigs will join the puppies and kittens in the windows. All will be available for adoption. Macy’s and SF SPCA Holiday Windows Unveiling takes place on Friday, November 22 at 5pm. 

Since the tradition began, more than 10,000 dogs and cats have been adopted. Donations collected help support the SF SPCA’s life-saving services. As in years past, the goal for staff and volunteers is to attract shoppers and find worthy homes for the hundreds of adoptable animals available.


Each Christmas window display is a project nearly a year in the making as plans for the next year's windows begin in January, almost immediately after the windows are taken down. It takes a dedicated team of more than 250 of Santa’s helpers to bring the windows to life including Macy’s display artists, graphic artists, sculptural artists, animators, carpenters, electricians and music and sound experts. The windows are temperature controlled and fitted with comfortable furnishings to ensure that the pets stay happy, healthy and relaxed the entire time. 

They love animals.

Each window showcases 24 animals every day. That way there are two animals in every window and six pairs in the adoption room. If you see an animal you would like to get to know, notify a volunteer or go inside the department store and visit the agency’s pop-up adoption on the main floor.


Volunteers are needed to interact with the public, collect donations, and spread the holiday cheer. Often, volunteers become familiar with the pets in the window and can offer information about an animal you’re curious about. Volunteers are needed to fill two-hour time slots. It’s a great, feel-good activity for families and groups. For details and to sign up, visit the sign up page.

Fun with animals.

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