Pets in the Classroom News Release:

As part of the 2019-20 American Pet Products Association (APPA) National Pet Owners Survey, pet owners across the country have shared valuable insight into pet ownership and the many benefits that pets can bring to the home setting.  While previous studies have indicated that pets can positively impact the lives of children, both at home and in the school setting, the survey results revealed another interesting insight: exposure to pets in the classroom setting correlates to an increase in pet ownership.

Steve King, CEO of APPA outlined the survey results by saying, “Out of nearly 5,000 respondents, twenty-eight percent indicated that their child had a pet in their classroom. Seventy-six percent of parents indicated that the classroom pet had a positive effect on their pet ownership, vs. a mere .4% who said there was a negative effect.” King went on to say, “Here’s where things get interesting. When asked if their family got a pet as a result of their child’s exposure to a classroom pet, 36% said yes!”

The Pets in the Classroom grant program, an organization supported by APPA, the Pet Industry Distributors Association (PIDA), the World Pet Association (WPA), and participating manufacturers and retailers, provides grants to Pre-Kindergarten through 9th grade teachers in both private and public schools with funding toward a small animal or for pet supplies.  Since the program’s inception in 2011, more than 140,00 grants have been issued, bringing a pet into the lives of some 5.6 million children.  According to the survey results, this one program has resulted in more than 2 million household pets, helping grow the pet industry and bringing the many benefits of pet care into the lives of these families.

Studies like the 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.  Pet Care Trust Executive Director, Jackie King states “The Pet Care Trust is thrilled to include increasing pet ownership to the list of benefits that classroom pets can provide.”

To learn more about the Pets in the Classroom program or to make a donation visit www.petsintheclassroom.org.

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