New Grants Program Offers Small Pets to Classrooms

A new grants program is providing financial support for keeping small pets in the nation's public school classrooms, with the aim of promoting responsible pet care.

The goal of the "Pets in the Classroom" program, funded solely by the Pet Care Trust, is to establish healthy child-pet relationships at an early age by supporting responsible pet care in grammar school classrooms across the country. Many public school teachers have very limited resources for the support of classroom animals, and the Pet Care Trust wants to help teachers support pets in classrooms through hassle-free grants.

Pets in the Classroom grants are offered to public school, Kindergarten through Sixth grade classes only. Teachers can submit an online application form, which will be reviewed by the Pet Care Trust. Once approved, a certificate indicating the grant value will be sent to the teacher, who can use this to receive reimbursement for a pet and/or supplies purchased at their local pet store. The teacher is allowed to select a pet that is the most appropriate for their classroom, including guinea pigs, hamsters, reptiles, small birds and fish.

These grants are intended to support pets or aquariums in the classroom for the purposes of teaching children to bond with, and care for their pets responsibly. Pets in the Classroom encourages teachers to make their purchases from local pet stores in order to establish a relationship with the pet store, which can be a valuable resource for help. Pets in the Classroom hopes that some local pet stores might even sponsor classroom pets.

"The welfare of the small animals involved is of paramount importance. Our goal is to support placement of appropriate pets in schools where they will enhance the classroom experience and help kids learn about proper pet care," commented Steve King, Pet Care Trust Executive Director.

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