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Pet Businesses Support Grant Program Through In-Kind Donations

The contributions aided the program in funding 19,100 grants to teachers wanting to introduce a classroom pet and the benefits they provide to their students.




(PRESS RELEASE) Through the generous support of pet industry businesses, the Pet Care Trust received approximately $1.75 million in product contributions for the Pets in the Classroom grant program in the 2021-2022 school year. The contributions aided the program in funding 19,100 grants to teachers wanting to introduce a classroom pet and the benefits they provide to their students.

The Pet Care Trust, a non-profit organization that promotes the public understanding of the joys and benefits of pets through education, support, and interaction, established the Pets in the Classroom grant program in 2010 with the knowledge that, while classroom animals are a valuable teaching tool, many teachers have very limited resources to purchase and care for them. With the assistance of numerous companies and organizations within the pet industry, this educational grant program provides funding for a small animal or pet supplies to pre-kindergarten through 9th grade teachers in both private and public schools who desire to introduce a pet into the classroom or who already have a pet in the classroom.

“The support from the pet industry is what makes our grant program possible,” said Matt Coffindaffer, executive director of the Pets in the Classroom program. “We are so grateful for all of the financial support, but also want to recognize those who help us by donating quality products that teachers can use to demonstrate proper pet care. Classroom pets can be a wonderful resource for teachers that can aide students in developing socially and academically. They are a way to instill in student the knowledge needed to properly handle and care for a pet and also encourage empathy and responsibility as their love for the pet grows.”

The companies that support the program through in-kind donations understand the many benefits children interacting with pets in a school setting can offer. “We believe pets make people better,” stated Stan Owens, vice president of sales at Spectrum Brands – Global Pet Care. “Pets in the Classroom also knows the benefits of pets and how pets make peoples’ live better. We are aligned in that respect. There is a lot of research around the benefits of children caring for pets. Not everyone has pets at home. Pets in the Classroom affords this connection in a very structured way.”

The Pets in the Classroom Teacher Survey, conducted in the spring of 2022, shows just how classroom pets are making peoples’ (specifically students’) lives better. According to the survey, which gathered feedback from teachers who received funding toward a classroom pet through the program, teachers saw improvements in attendance, empathy/compassion, responsibility, testing/academic performance, self-esteem, and student engagement. Teachers also reported that pets help students improve their social skills and decrease anxiety.

The survey also indicated that classroom pets are impacting students’ understanding of pet care. Ninety-eight percent of respondents said that their students had an understanding of how to care for their classroom pet. Additionally, almost 97 percent of teachers had students express an interest in owning their own pet as a result of having one in the classroom, with over 61 percent of teachers being aware of one or more students that had gotten a pet at home as a result of having a classroom pet. These results indicate that the program is helping to create more responsible and knowledgeable present and future pet owners.


Anna Bell, senior vice president marketing at Central Garden & Pet – another of the companies that provides in-kind donations to the program – commented, “At Central, we believe that helping educate and support pet families is critical to helping ensure that pets are well cared for and humans enjoy their pets in the best way possible. Our products are best in class and help teachers in the classroom by allowing them to focus on the pets and their students with the confidence they need to ensure the animals they’re caring for are healthy and happy. In addition, Pets in the Classroom has shown that teachers have seen positive results in student engagement, participation and long-term outcomes by bringing animals into the learning environment. Central is fully committed to being a part of that success in the long run and encourages others to help with the mission.”

Over 223,000 grants have been issued since the program’s inception in 2011 through December 2022, meaning an estimated 8.9 million children have experienced the joys and benefits of pet care through the grant program.

The Pet Care Trust strives to help more teachers impact future generations of pet owners through its grant program. To learn more or to donate, visit



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