900,000 Kids Have a Classroom Pet Thanks to the Pet Care Trust
The Pet Care Trust’sPets in the Classroom program has reached a remarkable milestone—more than 19,000 classrooms have received a Pets in the Classroom grant, giving nearly 900,000 elementary and middle school students a chance to interact with a pet every day.
“The Trust Board set a long-term goal of reaching 1 million kids by providing 30,000 Pets in the Classroom grants,” noted Pet Care Trust executive director Steve King. “We have nearly reached this goal far sooner than any of us thought possible. It really is a remarkable achievement thanks to the Board’s foresight and the support of so many pet retailers and suppliers.”
The program began slowly, providing 3,200 grants for the 2010-11 school year. The 2011-12 school year saw the addition of Pets in the Classroom grants through Petsmart and Petco, along with rebate grants supported by independent pet stores. As a result, the number of grants increased to over 6,000 for the year.
In preparation for the 2012-13 school year, the Trust added additional programs by Pet Supermarket and Carolina Biological Supply. The response from teachers in the first two months of the new school year has been overwhelming. More than 9,500 grants have been issued since August 1, bringing the total to nearly 19,000 since the program’s inception.
The small animal category has seen the most grant requests, with 37% of all grants going to support a guinea pig, hamster, rabbit or other small mammal. Aquariums have been requested by nearly 30% of teachers, with reptiles (bearded dragons, corn snakes, leopard geckos, turtles) representing 28% of grant requests. Birds, hermit crabs and other animals represent less than 6% of all grants.