Pet Food Institute Donation to Aid Washington, D.C. Teachers

The Pets in the Classroom grant program was selected to receive a donation of $5,000 from the Pet Food Institute.

Thanks to a generous donation from the Pet Food Institute, many teachers in the Washington, D.C. area will be going back to school with a classroom pet.  The Pet Food Institute selected the Pet Care Trust’s Pets in the Classroom grant program to receive a donation of $5,000, which will be directed toward teachers in the D.C. area. With a mission of extending the benefits of interacting with a pet to all school-aged children, the grant program provides Pre-Kindergarten through ninth-grade teachers in both public and private schools with funding to introduce a small animal into their classrooms. Grants may also be used to purchase supplies for the care and maintenance of classroom pets.

Pet Care Trust Executive Director Steven King expressed appreciation for the funding from the Pet Food Institute. “We are extremely grateful for the generous support received from the Pet Food Institute. Pet food manufacturers know well the benefits of the human-animal bond. This grant, to be used in schools throughout the Washington, D.C. metro area, will allow students to experience that bond first-hand in their classrooms.”

Studies, including one completed by the American Humane Association and the Pet Care Trust, indicate that classroom pets provide a variety of benefits to students.  These studies reinforce thousands of teachers’ experiences that classroom pets: aid in improving school attendance, encourage nurturing, build self-esteem, promote empathy, teach responsibility, stimulate learning, enrich the classroom experience, and become friends for students.  One little pet can help shy kids open up, slower readers build confidence, rough children develop nurturing tendencies, and uninterested students gain a new desire for learning.  And with over 94,000 grants having been issued since the program’s inception, nearly 4 million children have experienced these benefits thanks to the Pets in the Classroom grant program.

“As the schools in Washington, D.C. begin a new year, PFI is proud to help introduce children to the many wonders that pets bring to our lives. Pets of all species, shapes and sizes can support a child’s emotional development and educational environment, and PFI commends Pets in the Classroom for its work supporting teachers and students across the country and in our own community,” said Cathleen Enright, PhD, president and CEO of the PFI. “We are excited to help promote opportunities to further the human-animal bond and enrich the classroom experience for the children of Washington, D.C.”

PFI, whose members produce 98 percent of all U.S. dog and cat food and treats, serves as the voice of pet food makers. The association is dedicated to:

  • Advocating for legislation, regulations and technologies that support the domestic manufacture and global distribution of safe, quality pet food and that provide for consumer choice;
  • Promoting pet food safety innovation in manufacturing and handling practices;
  • Delivering information about issues impacting pet food makers, their suppliers and distributors, pet lovers and other relevant stakeholders; and
  • Communicating the benefits of pet ownership to the general public at large.

More information about PFI can be found online at, and more information on the Pets in the Classroom program can be found at



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