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PetSmart Helps Teachers Bring Pets Back to School


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Having a pet in school just got easier thanks to PetSmart and The Pet Care Trust. Eligible teachers can get a “Pets in the Classroom”  grant from the Pet Care Trust, which includes a discount at their local PetSmart store on a classroom pet and the essentials needed to care for that pet, from habitat to accessories and food.

The online grant application process can be accessed at and is open to all U.S. pre-kindergarten to 6th-grade teachers, encouraging supervised interaction for children with the pets in the classroom. By caring for a pet, teachers can help children learn responsibility, hygiene and the importance of schedules.

Once approved, the teacher can consult with a PetSmart pet care associate to determine which one of the following pets will best fit into their individual classroom setting:

  • Hamstersmake fun classroom pets because they are active and teach children the importance of schedules and responsibilities.
  • Guinea Pigsare easily handled and encourage children to follow a regimented routine.
  • Fishare a great way to illustrate basic chemistry and biology principles while students follow regularly scheduled water changes.
  • Bearded Dragons depend on their environment for heating and cooling and are a great way to teach about geography and the environment.
  • Leopard Geckosare docile in nature and teach children about different nocturnal behaviors.

“Our associates are trained to match the best pet to each environment based on the age of the children, curriculum and student involvement in the care of the pets,” says John Gerstenberger, specialty pets expert at PetSmart. “Caring for pets in the school environment is a natural opportunity for children to experience the bond created with pets.”

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To apply for the “Pets in the Classroom” grant and learn more about choosing the right pet for a specific classroom, teachers can visit PetSmart also provides access to lesson plans, care guides and video “how-to” habitat set-ups.

About PetSmart

PetSmart, Inc. (NASDAQ: PETM) is the largest specialty pet retailer of services and solutions for the lifetime needs of pets. The company employs approximately 48,000 associates and operates more than 1,197 pet stores in the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico, over 185 in-store PetSmart(R) PetsHotel(R) dog and cat boarding facilities and is a leading online provider of pet supplies and pet care information ( PetSmart provides a broad range of competitively priced pet food and pet products; and offers dog training, pet grooming, pet boarding, PetSmart Doggie Day CampSM day care services and pet adoption services. Since 1994, PetSmart Charities, Inc., an independent 501(c)(3) non-profit animal welfare organization and the largest funder of animal welfare efforts in North America, has provided more than $134 million in grants and programs benefiting animal welfare organizations. Through its in-store pet adoption partnership with PetSmart Charities(R), PetSmart has helped save the lives of more than 4.5 million pets.

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About The Pet Care Trust

The Pet Care Trust is a non-profit, charitable, public foundation that is instrumental in the sponsorship of programs supporting companion animal welfare and the benefits of owning companion pets as well as the development of educational programs demonstrating the importance of responsible companion animal ownership. The Pet Care Trust funds deserving programs through supporting grants awarded annually to non-profit organizations. In addition, through their Pets in the Classroom program, in 2010 the Pet Care Trust awarded 2066 grants to public and private school teachers in grades Pre-K through 6th grade to support pets in the learning environment.