General Pet Information
What does Zoonotic Disease Mean?
ALL ANIMALS, can potentially carry zoonotic diseases including viral, bacterial, fungal, and parasitic diseases contagious to humans. Humans may become ill after handling the pet, its bedding or fecal matter by introducing viral, bacterial, fungal and/or parasitic organisms into their eyes, mouth, skin or an open sore. In most cases these conditions are treatable, but if left untreated, or if they occur in infants, children, pregnant women, the elderly or immune-compromised individuals, the illness could be serious or (though rare) even fatal. Young children are at higher risk because their immune systems are still developing and they are more likely than others to put their fingers or other items into their mouths. Many pets are not suitable for children under 5 years of age. Follow these guidelines to protect your pet and your family: * Make sure the seller guarantees good health. This should include a money-back guarantee if you discover within some specified period that your pet has signs of disease. * Get a complete checkup from an authorized avian or exotic animal veterinarian. Do this right away if you’ve just purchased your pet. Seasoned pet owners should book appointments for yearly checkups. * Eradicate the germs. Wash your hands after handling your pet or anything within the pet’s habitat. If soap and running water are unavailable, use hand sanitizer. For more information see the CDC Healthy Pets Healthy People website.
Is there anywhere to post pictures of our pets?
You may send photos or students’ drawings depicting your classroom pet to the address at the bottom of this page. We sometimes upload pictures to our website as testimonials to help promote the benefits to having a classroom pet. If you are interested in allowing us to use your photos and stories for the promotion of the program, you can share them with us at www.petsintheclassroom.org/share. You may also post photos and share how your pet has impacted your classroom by connecting with us on Facebook,Twitter or Instagram (#petsintheclassroom).
I have a therapy dog who loves children and I bring him into class with me, does he qualify for this program?
Only small animals that reside in the classroom are eligible for this program. Dogs, cats and other larger house pets do not qualify.
General Grant Information
Why are grants only given up to 9th grade?
Due to limitations in funding, at this time, we can only offer this program through 9th grade.
How do I know if I qualify for a grant?
At this time, teachers in public or private schools from Pre-K to 9th grade level will qualify. School librarians are also eligible to apply. High School grades 10-12, Homeschools, Home Daycare Centers and Home-based preschools do not qualify at this time.
How soon should I hear something about my grant?
For the regular store coupon grants, you should receive an email notification within 2-3 weeks of when you apply. (Please remember to check your SPAM folder, as our emails are sometimes rejected by your school computer’s security settings). If approved, you should receive your coupons in the U.S. mail within 4 -6 weeks of when you apply. For the REBATE and SUSTAINING grants, you should receive an email from us with the grant certificate attached within 2-3 weeks of when you apply. (Again, check your SPAM folder!) If you do not hear anything from us regarding your grant after 2-3 weeks, you may contact us at 443-921-2825 x114 or x120. PLEASE KEEP IN MIND: During times of very high volume (August – October), it may take a little longer to get your coupons out to you. We appreciate your patience as we have a very small staff processing thousands of grants weekly.
Where can I get more information on the program?
Our website has many helpful resources to help a teacher determine the best animals for their classroom, along with care sheets to learn how to best care for your pet, how the program works and even some classroom curriculum ideas. Our website also includes teacher testimonials and students activity pages.
May I reapply every year?
The REBATE grant and the regular STORE COUPON grants (from Petco, Petsmart, etc.) are one-time-only grants. You may receive ONE of these grants the first year you apply. After that, you may apply for the SUSTAINING grant to help pay for your pet’s upkeep. You can use the SUSTAINING grant to purchase items such as food, bedding, or a larger habitat. You may also use the SUSTAINING grant to purchase another animal for your classroom (for example, if you need to replace your original pet or you want to purchase a new one.) You may apply for the SUSTAINING GRANT every year.
Do I have to use all my coupons at the same time?
No, you can use your store coupons separately as long as they are the originals and they are redeemed prior to the expiration date. No copies will be accepted.
Do I need to bring anything with me to redeem my coupon benefits?
Yes, you need to have the original coupon and a valid school ID or driver’s license.
I didn’t hear anything about my grant. What should I do?
You should receive a confirmation email once you register for an account and apply for a grant. After that, you should either receive your coupons by U.S. mail (within 4-6 weeks of applying) or your rebate/sustaining grant certificate by email. If you do not hear anything or have any questions about your grant, please email our office at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com, or call us at 443-921-2825 x114 or x120. Please be sure to check your email’s spam folder in case our email got directed there by your computer’s security system or spam filter.
I’ve changed schools since I applied for my grant. Can I give my grant certificates/coupons to another teacher?
Grants are not transferable once awarded; if you are unable to use your grant certificate/coupons, you must send them back to the Pet Care Trust, or destroy them and notify us that you are unable to use the grant. Your colleagues are welcome to apply for a grant of their own through our website.
Is there a deadline to apply for a grant?
Grant applications are accepted from August 1 through June 1st each year.
I am a school principal, can I apply for a teacher(s) at my school?
No. Each teacher must complete their own application. The application includes space for the principal’s name and email address. By completing that portion of the application, the applicant confirms they have received approval from their principal to host a pet in their classroom.
Who runs the Pets in the Classroom program?
The Pets in the Classroom is administered by The Pet Care Trust, a non-profit, charitable, public foundation under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Our purpose is to help promote public understanding regarding the value of and right to enjoy companion animals, to enhance knowledge about companion animals through research and education, and to promote professionalism among members of the companion animal community.
Rebate & Sustaining Grants
What is a REBATE grant?
If you are seeking a classroom pet of a specific species not listed on our website, or if you prefer to shop at an independent pet store, you can apply for a Pets in the Classroom REBATE Grant. With a REBATE grant the teacher will purchase the pet and supplies, and then submit receipts to The Pet Care Trust for reimbursement. Grants are available for up to $75 (for bird or small animal) or up to $125 (for reptile or aquarium).
What is a SUSTAINING grant?
After receiving a regular STORE grant or REBATE grant, teachers are only eligible to apply for a SUSTAINING grant, which can be used to maintain your existing classroom pet. If you no longer have your original pet, you may use the sustaining grant towards a new pet and supplies. Grant amount = $50. You may apply for this grant once every school year.
When using the REBATE and SUSTAINING grants, where can I purchase my pet and supplies?
You may purchase your pet and supplies at any pet store. We will NOT accept receipts from a grocery store, superstore, or department store (such as Walmart, Target, Kmart, etc.) You may purchase pet supplies online as long as it is from an authorized pet store (We will NOT accept receipts from Amazon, eBay, etc.) You must submit an itemized bill showing what was purchased and how much was spent. We prefer that you shop at a local, independent retailer if possible. If that is not an option in your area, we will accept receipts from the larger chains. Receipts from breeders (companies that sell only live animals) will not be accepted.
Where do I send my receipts?
We recommend that you keep a copy of the receipts for your records, mail in the certificate along with the receipts to:
Pets in the Classroom
c/o The Pet Care Trust
3465 Box Hill Corporate Center Dr. Suite H
Abingdon, MD 21009
Phone: 443-921-2825 ext. 114 or 120
What can I purchase with my grant certificate?
You may purchase your pet, its habitat, food, bedding, toys, gravel, filters, lights or anything else required to support your pet to live in your classroom.
What is the turnaround for reimbursement checks?
You can usually expect to receive your reimbursement check within 4-6 weeks after we receive your paperwork and receipts. During peak program times, it may take slightly longer to receive your check due to the volume of reimbursements coming in.