It’s official. A study released by the American Pet Products Association (APPA) has found that pets in a classroom have a positive influence on children and prompt parents to get pets at home. And specifically, its programs like Pets in the Classroom run by the Pet Care Trust that are positively influencing children and leading to more family pets.
In the National Pet Market Opportunity Study, one-third of the survey respondents said that “having a pet in their child’s class led their family to get a pet.”Also, three quarters of the survey respondents whose child has a pet in their classroom responded that its presence had a positive effect on their pet ownership. Children exposed to a classroom pet were more likely to get over a fear of pets they may have harbored and were also more likely to take responsibility for household pets as a result of the classroom experience.
These results come as no surprise to the Pet Care Trust, a non-profit, charitable foundation that funds the Pets in the Classroom grant program in an effort to promote the understanding of the joys and benefits of pets through education, support, and interaction:
“When the Pet Care Trust introduced the Pets in the Classroom program in 2011, the goal was to help teachers engage their students through the care of a classroom pet,” commented Pet Care Trust Executive Director Steve King. “We know that pets enrich the classroom experience by providing kids with the chance to see, feel, touch and make connections with the animal world. What we didn’t know was how the classroom experience influences a child’s relationship with pets at home. Thanks to the study, we now know that there is a very direct and positive correlation for many families.”
Having a mission of bringing pets to 100,000 classrooms and 5 million children, the Pets in the Classroom grant program is making great strides in providing students with the benefits associated with exposure to pets. The program has issued close to 40,000 grants since the program began, and with approximately 64% of the grants having been redeemed by teachers, about 25,600 classrooms have received a pet as a result. With an average of 50 students being impacted per grant, 1,280,000 kids have daily contact with a pet in their schools. Based on these numbers and the APPA study, more than 400,000 homes now have pets as a direct result of the grant program. Whether in the home or in the classroom, the Pets in the Classroom grant program is positively influencing lives.
For more information on the Pets in the Classroom grant program, visit www.PetsintheClassroom.org.