News from Near and Far, November 2010

Holiday Windows Needs You

SF/SPCA is seeking volunteers to help with its 25th annual Macy’s Holiday Windows adoption extravaganza at Union Square. Beginning Friday, Nov. 19, helpers are needed to answer questions about adoptable dogs and cats on display in Macy’s festive windows; raise public awareness about homeless animals; and collect donations for SF/SPCA’s adoption efforts.

Shifts are two to three hours long. Last year, volunteers helped find new homes for over 300 animals and raised more than $50,000 to support SF/SPCA.

You can register for shifts online at


Untrained = Pessimistic?

The scientific journal Current Biology recently reported on a study of 24 dogs that suggested canines without proper socialization as puppies tend to have low expectations of life. Some of the canine study participants quickly sought out a bowl full of food placed nearby when their usual bowls were empty at mealtime, displaying confidence that their needs would be met. Their “pessimistic” counterparts took no interest in locating the full food bowls.

The researchers noted that the dogs who did not confidently seek out a different bowl of food were also more apt to have behavior problems when left alone, including destroying furniture or relieving themselves inside. Among their conclusions: dogs raised without proper training and socialization tend to have negative attitudes.