Teachers: Here’s How To Apply For A Free Classroom Pet

Teachers, take note! Pets in the Classroom is now accepting applications for the 2018-19 school year.

Pets in the Classroom is an educational grant program that provides financial support to teachers in grades pre-K through nine to purchase and maintain small animals in their classroom. This program was established by the Pet Care Trust, whose mission is to promote the joys and benefits of pets through education, support, and interaction.

Basically, the program gives teachers the chance to get a classroom pet for free!

Twitter | Amberly Dzimira

Nothing softens the blow of an early school day like walking in to see a cuddly little creature.

Teachers interested in the grant program may apply now through June 1, 2019. But don’t sweat it if you have to wait to put in your application, Pets in the Classroom grants are not given on a first-come, first-served basis and teachers meeting the qualifications will receive a grant.

Pets you can choose from include hamsters, gerbils, freshwater fish, parakeets, snakes, rabbits and hermit crabs. Before applying for a grant, Pets in the Classroom encourages teachers to get students involved in the decision-making process to determine what kind of  pet is a good fit for their classroom.

hermit crab tank photo
Flickr | HawaiianJohn

The Pet Care Trust, in partnership with several industry retailers and pet product suppliers, offers three types of Pets in the Classroom grants to teachers:

  • Store grants (choose one of six participating retailers, including Petco and PetSmart)
  • Rebate grants ($75 for small animals; $125 for fish, reptiles and amphibians)
  • Sustaining grants ($50 yearly for maintenance of current pet)

If you have previously received a Pets in the Classroom grant, you are only eligible to apply for the sustaining grant. That grant can be used to maintain an existing classroom pet or, if you no longer have the original pet, toward getting a new pet and pet supplies. Teachers can apply for the grant once every school year.

parakeet photo
Flickr | jdnx

Did you have a classroom pet as a kid?