PetSmart Canada
NASDAQ : PETM

PetSmart Canada

September 18, 2013 08:30 ET

PetSmart's "Pets in the Classroom" Grants Make Lessons Crawl, Chirp & Swim

Applications Now Accepted for Pre-Kindergarten Through 8th-Grade Teachers

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - Sept. 18, 2013) -

Editors note: There is a photo associated with this press release.

Students can stand eye-to-eye with a bearded dragon or write about a hamster's habitat with help from a Pets in the Classroom grant from PetSmart® (NASDAQ:PETM), available now for the 2013 school year in the Canada, United States and Puerto Rico. Administered through the Pet Care Trust, the program helps pre-kindergarten through eighth-grade teachers cover most of the cost of a classroom pet and start-up supplies.

Since 2012, PetSmart Canada has provided more than 50 grants to teachers, helping over 2,500 students experience the hands-on learning and fun of classroom pets. Grants are available to help with the introduction of a fish, guinea pig, hamster, bearded dragon, leopard gecko, snake, fancy rat, parakeet or aquatic turtle.

Classroom pets are great for kids because they can be easy to care for and demonstrate unique behaviors that can get everyone excited about learning, according to PetSmart. Additionally, pets can help teach important lessons and support kids' school performance. For example:

  • Pets help adults create a welcoming environment in the classroom and more easily relate with their students.
  • Bonding with a pet can give students a common ground with each other, and therefore encourage friendships and positive interactions.
  • Since kids often view pets as friends, classroom pets can encourage good behavior. For example, a teacher can tell students to use inside-voices because too much noise may scare the pet. In turn, students understand and respond.
  • Shy or struggling students may improve skills such as reading when the audience is a pet.

"The Pets in the Classroom program provides more teachers and students the opportunity to experience the joys of a classroom pet and enriching learning environments," said Dr. Kemba Marshall, PetSmart veterinarian. "Fish, small pets, reptiles, and birds can be easily integrated into a teacher's curriculum and provide valuable opportunities to demonstrate responsibility and kindness in the classroom."

Teachers can review information about caring for and choosing a pet at www.mypetsmart.com/care-guides or by talking with a PetSmart store associate.

To apply or obtain more information about Pets in the Classroom grants, public or private-school teachers should visit www.petsmart.com/teachers.

About PetSmart Canada®

In Canada, PetSmart, Inc. (NASDAQ:PETM) is the largest specialty pet retailer of services and solutions for the lifetime needs of pets, which employees approximately 29,000 associates and operates over 81 pet stores across Canada, 7 in-store PetSmart® PetsHotel® dog and cat boarding facilities and is a leading provider of pet supplies and pet care information (www.petsmart.com). PetSmart provides a broad range of competitively priced pet food and pet products; and offers dog training, pet grooming, pet boarding, PetSmart Doggie Day Camp SM day care services and pet adoption services. Through its in-store pet adoption partnership with PetSmart Charities® of Canada, PetSmart has helped save the lives of more than 145,000 pets since 1999. PetSmart Charities of Canada, Inc. ("PetSmart Charities") is an independent, nonprofit organization that saves the lives of homeless pets and reduces shelter intake through spay/neuter efforts.

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