With the help of other pet-related businesses, the World Pet Association (WPA), host of the 25th annual America's Family Pet Expo in Orange County, California, raised close to $6,500 for the Pet Care Trust’s Pets in the Classroom grant program at their April 25-27, 2014 event. The money raised will fund 65 teacher grants, allowing 2900 students to experience the benefits of interacting with pets in the school setting.
The Expo, which is known for its notable history of placing animals in forever homes and educating people on responsible pet care, featured a Betta Fish Toss and Aquarium Raffle in an effort to raise funds for the grant program that provides direct, no-hassle grants to teachers to purchase or maintain pets in the classroom.
The Betta Fish Toss, sponsored by Dolphin International and Hikari Sales USA, Inc, raised $3,433 for the Pets in the Classroom program. At Hikari's request, the money will be designated specifically for grants for fish in the classroom.
The Raffle, which was held as part of the educational exhibit called the “Aquatic Experience,” raised $3,025 for the program.Attendees could purchase a raffle ticket to win one of 15 aquariums. The aquariums and set-up were donated by: Aqueon, CaribSea, EHEIM North America, Fluval, Real Reef Manufacturing, Segrest Farms, and Tetra.
“We are sincerely grateful to WPA, Dolphin International and Hikari Sales for their generous support of the Pets in the Classroom program," commented Steve King, executive director of the Pet Care Trust. “The money raised will provide nearly 3,000 students with all of the benefits that come from daily access to a classroom pet."
The Pets in the Classroom program was established by the Pet Care Trust to assist teachers in obtaining or maintaining classroom pets. The Pets in the Classroom program benefits students by teaching them responsible, long-term pet care at an early age and providing the psychological and developmental benefits associated with the human-animal bond. Studies have shown that caring for pets has a positive effect on children, improving school attendance and teaching children responsibility, as well as encouraging nurturing and building self esteem.
Also having goals focused on education and responsibility, the WPA has been a faithful supporter of the program. Doug Poindexter, President of the WPA, commented, "America’s Family Pet Expo was started 25 years ago to educate the public on responsible pet ownership and expose children to the joy pets can bring to our lives. We are very pleased that we have been able to help touch so many children as a result of the Pets in the Classroom program. It is one of our favorite charities that WPA helps to support through our events including SuperZoo, America’s Family Pet Expo, Aquatic Experience Chicago and the Atlanta Pet Fair."
For more information on the World Pet Association and its events, visit www.WorldPetAssociation.org, or for more information on the Pet Care Trust and its Pets in the Classroom grant program, visit www.petsintheclassroom.org.
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. Through the Pets in the Classroom program, the Pet Care Trust awards grants to teachers to support pets in a learning environment.