Kellye Fox | 

Teachers, Apply Now for the Pets in the Classroom Grant Program

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If you’ve never heard of the Pets in the Classroom Grant, it’s a program that hooks up teachers with grants that cover the costs of bringing (surprise!) pets into a classroom. Depending on the type of animal, there are grants ranging from $50 to $125. And any savings for teachers is a help.

From hamsters and fish to turtles and birds, there’s a pet for every classroom. The program doesn’t just leave you hanging with an animal — it guides teachers and students on how to ensure they’re living their best lives. The website has resources on animal diseases, care, how to handle pet death, animal fact sheets, and even teacher lesson plans.

So, if you’re ready to add a little extra “pawsitivity” to your classroom (sorry, we had to), consider giving the Pets in the Classroom Grant Program a shot. Only downside? You’ll probably have to clean up some pet poop.

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What is the Pets in the Classroom Grant Program?

children in a classroom with a bearded dragon classroom pet

The Pets in the Classroom program is administered by the non-profit foundation, The Pet Care Trust. Their goal is to bring awareness about animal companionship through education and research efforts. The pets in this program are only for child bonding and support, not experimentation.


Teachers have to qualify to get a pet in their classroom and applications are accepted through June 1, 2024.

a laptop displaying the webpage on Pets in the Classroom's site about qualifying for grants

Grant applications run Aug. 1 to June 1. You must use this qualification form to assess your participation. Among other details, entrants must be a public or private school teacher in grades Pre-K to 9th grade. School librarians are also eligible to apply.

Teachers are the only ones who can complete the application, and they have to confirm that their principal has given permission to have a pet in their classroom.

RELATED: 17 PetSmart Coupons & Savings Tips to Get All the Treats


Grants range from $50 to $125.

A close up on a Guinea Pig and a child petting it

There are three grants available: Rebate, Sustaining, and Store Coupon. Once awarded, grants aren’t transferable and must be applied for every school calendar year. Use their secure grant system to create or log into your account, as well as inquire about pets not listed below. A full explanation of all of their grants is on their program grant page, but here are brief details:

Small Animal Rebate Grant (up to $75)

  • One-time grant
  • Use to purchase one of these specific species: birds, guinea pigs, hamsters, hermit crabs, spiders, hedgehogs, etc.
  • Can shop at an independent pet store
  • Can be used to buy supplies
  • Submit a receipt for reimbursement up to $75

Fish/Aquariums/Reptile/Amphibian Rebate Grant (up to $125)

  • One-time grant
  • Use to purchase one of these specific species: fish, geckos, frogs, bearded dragons, etc
  • Shop at an independent pet store
  • Submit a receipt for reimbursement for up to $125

Store Coupon Grant

  • One-time grant to purchase pet and supplies from Petco, PetSmart, Pet Supplies Plus, Pet Supermarket, and Petland.
  • Samples of savings include up to 50% off supplies or free items

Sustaining Grant (up to $50)

  • Use to maintain existing classroom pet (i.e., bedding, larger habitat, food)
  • Or, buy a new pet and supplies (if you don’t have the original pet)
  • Applicable if you moved schools
  • Can’t be be used if you received a Store or Rebate Grant in the current school year


Only certain pets are considered ok for the classroom, and rabbits aren’t on that list.

children in a classroom with a tortoise pet

As a reminder, to participate in this program, the animal must live in the classroom. Due to the RHDV2 Virus, rabbits aren’t allowed and expenses won’t be covered. Other animals not allowed:

  • Cats or dogs
  • Caterpillar/butterfly environments
  • Insects
  • Egg incubators
  • Worm/composting environments
  • Livestock such as chickens, goats, etc.



Use the grant funds for toys, bedding, and food, among other things.

a student reading a book next to a fish tank in a classroom

Depending on the type of award, the Pets in the Classroom grant program covers the following:

  • Cost of pet
  • Food
  • Bedding
  • Toys
  • Lights
  • Filters
  • Gravel
  • Anything else needed for the pet to live comfortably in your classroom

While the program encourages adoption of pets, their funding doesn’t cover the fees. Instead, they’ll reimburse you for the fees through their Rebate and Sustaining grants. If you’re a past grant recipient, you can apply for the Sustaining grant, which provides $50 toward supplies.


Allow 2 – 6 weeks for a response.

Reimbursements and grant certificates can take weeks to process, especially during peak back-to-school months (Aug. to Oct.). Here’s the suggested timeframe, according to the program’s website:

Rebate & Sustaining Grants: 2-3 weeks for email notification

Store Coupon Grants: 2-3 weeks for email notification; 4-6 weeks for coupons in the mail


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