Feed the Fish program educates kids about animals

A new program at PetSmart is educating kids about a wide variety of pets, and giving them a chance to feed the store's fish.

PetSmart pet care manager

PetSmart pet care manager

A new program at PetSmart is educating kids about a wide variety of pets, and giving them a chance to feed the store’s fish.

Feed the Fish is a free family program which runs every Saturday morning at the store.

For about half an hour, kids learn about a specific pet under the guidance of pet care manager Chelsea Gumbley, and pet care associate Alyssa Boutilier. They’re taught about the animal’s origin, what sort of habitat they live in, what they eat, and their behaviour.

Afterwards, the kids get to feed some of the store’s different types of fish.

“What we do is we connect one-on-one with the parents and kids. We have this event every Saturday, they find out about the different animals, and then they get to feed the fish — that’s what gets the kids excited,” says store manager Rupi Parmar.

The store, which opened in the summer, started the nation-wide program early. Last weekend was the third week for Feed the Fish in Chilliwack, but it was the first week that it launched across Canada. This coming weekend, it’ll be running across North America.

“We wanted to test it out since we are new in the community. We wanted to see what people thought and what we could do differently,” says Parmar. “We are brand new so we have a lot to prove.”

It’s been successful in just the first few weeks. They’ve seen familiar faces every weekend as many kids have returned each Saturday.

“That’s what makes it fun is that they’re excited to come back and learn,” says Parmar.

All of the pets the kids learn about are sold in-store.

On the first Saturday, they learned about fish. The next week, it was guinea pigs.

“That went over really well with the guinea pigs, because it’s more hands-on,” says Parmar.

This past Saturday, kids were educated about red foot tortoises and bearded dragons.

“We could keep going for the next 30 weeks, and it would be a new pet each time,” he says. “As the seasons change, so do the animals we get in.”

In the summer and fall the focus is on pets such as Chinese water dragons, mountain dragons, tortoises, leopard geckos, and chameleons. Birds like parakeets, quaker parrots and conure parrots are popular in the winter months. And in the spring, they move into goldfish, tropical fish, and rodents.

“On a Saturday morning it’s hard to pull kids away from cartoons and extracurricular activities,” he says. “A lot of times the parents are more excited. For us the biggest thing is to have that excitement on both levels.”

So far, “it’s been a great response” he says.

Feed the Fish is a free one-hour program located at PetSmart in Eagle Landing (926-8249 Eagle Landing Pkwy.). It runs from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. every Saturday. Registration is not required. For more info, call 604-792-2362.

photo@theprogress.comtwitter.com/PhotoJennalism

Just Posted

Chilliwack secondary school’s principal is apologizing after a quote equating graduation with the end of slavery in the U.S. was included in the 2020-2021 yearbook. (Screenshot from submitted SnapChat)
Student’s quote in Chilliwack high school yearbook equates graduation with end of slavery

Black former student ‘disgusted’ as CSS principal apologizes for what is called an editing error

Alexis Paige Simpson has not been in contact with her family in two months. (RCMP photo)
Chilliwack RCMP looking for missing 20-year-old woman

Police say Alexis Paige Simpson has not been in contact with her family in two months

(Maps.Chilliwack.com)
RCMP seek dash-cam footage after Chilliwack road rage incident

Male driving a black pickup stopped and allegedly threatened to punch another driver

Doses prepared at pop-up vaccine clinic in Toronto’s Jane and Finch neighbourhood, in the M3N postal code, on Saturday, April 17, 2021. ( THE CANADIAN PRESS/Cole Burston)
4 vaccine clinics coming to Neighbourhood Learning Centre

Fraser Health made clinics ‘low-barrier’ meaning pre-registration not required

Deepak Sharma of Abbotsford has been convicted of the sexual assault of one of his cab passengers in West Vancouver in January 2019.
Former Abbotsford Hindu temple president convicted of sexual assault

Deepak Sharma assaulted a female passenger when he was a cab driver

The border crossing into the United States is seen during the COVID-19 pandemic in Lacolle, Que. on February 12, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
VIDEO: Border quarantine to soon lift for fully vaccinated Canadians

Eligible travellers must still take multiple COVID-19 tests

Skeena MLA Ellis Ross. (Photo by Peter Versteege)
BC Liberal leadership candidate condemns ‘senseless violence’ of Okanagan church fires

Skeena MLA Ellis Ross says reconciliation isn’t about revenge for past tragedies

A coroner’s inquest will be taking place at the Capitol Theatre in Port Alberni for the next week. (ELENA RARDON / ALBERNI VALLEY NEWS)
Teen B.C. mom who died following police custody recalled as ‘friend to many’

Police sent Jocelyn George to hospital after intoxication had gone ‘beyond the realm’ of normal detox

FILE - In this Nov. 29, 2020, file photo, Las Vegas Raiders defensive end Carl Nassib leaves the field after an NFL football game against the Atlanta Falcons in Atlanta. Nassib on Monday, June 21, 2021, became the first active NFL player to come out as gay. Nassib announced the news on Instagram, saying he was not doing it for the attention but because “I just think that representation and visibility are so important.” (AP Photo/John Bazemore, File)
Nassib becomes first active NFL player to come out as gay

More than a dozen NFL players have come out as gay after their careers were over

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Penticton Indian Band Chief Greg Gabriel speaks to the Sacred Hearts Catholic Church burning down early Monday morning, June 21, 2021. (Monique Tamminga Western News)
Penticton band chief condemns suspicious burning of 2 Catholic churches

Both Catholic church fires are deemed suspicious, says RCMP

COVID-19 daily cases reported to B.C. public health, seven-day moving average to June 17, 2021. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
B.C.’s COVID-19 infections drop to 90 on Sunday, 45 Monday

Pandemic spread dwindles as 77% of adults receive vaccine

By protesting uninvited in First Nations’ territories, conservationists are acting in a neocolonial or paternalistic manner, says Huu-ay-aht Chief Robert Dennis. Photo by Heather Thomson
A closer look: do Vancouver Island First Nations support the war in the woods?

First Nations/environmentalist old growth alliance uneasy, if it exists at all

One Reconciliation Pole and two Welcome Figures were unveiled during a ceremony in honour of truth and reconciliation on National Peoples Indigenous Day at the Vancouver School District in Vancouver, B.C., on Friday, June 21, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Horgan marks Indigenous Peoples Day by urging recognition of systemic racism

National Indigenous Peoples Day has been marked in Canada since 1996

Most Read