Pets at Home are a large company which offer free animal workshops to schools, nursing homes and scouting groups. These are also available for school holidays if booked online in advance, these events are carried out in store during the holidays. Due to recent changes in store, most stores can offer handling or feeding of rabbits, Guinea pigs, hamsters and gerbils. This is because most stores no longer stock reptiles due to company changes. The stores which do still have reptiles may be able to bring them to workshops depending on their temperament. Because animals are not often in stores for long it is more difficult to know how these animals will react in workshop situations.
These workshops are available depending on colleagues available in store and are set to certain times to ensure a colleague is free and able to conduct the event.
Each store is slightly different so if it’s something you’re interested in it’s worth visiting the stores to enquire about what services they can provide. In store animal workshops also include the feeding of fish in some stores, where treats can be given. Some stores also offer feeding of the animals in store, giving them their daily vegetables.
Most stores have a ‘store pet’ most of these are hamsters or gerbils which have been adopted by the staff in store, get handled daily and are taken home for Christmas and other holidays. These animals are almost always used in workshops as they’re used to the handling and their temperament is well known.
If you are wanting a more diverse range of animals it’s worth while getting a company such as Zoo4School to come in and do it. This is due to the fact that because they specialise in such events they can supply a wider variety of animals and are more flexible on when and where the events can take place.
Although these are not free workshops they are more specialised for running the workshops and can provide a wider variety of animals.
Whether it’s Pets at Home workshops or other, specialist workshops that are used, there is a wide range of mental health benefits to both the animals and humans, this is especially true for younger people which is why these workshops are so important. It is also why big companies such as Pets at Home offer such workshops and why companies such as Zoo4School set up and offer specialised events.