|Abstract||The purpose of this study was to identify and promote successful teaching strategies that incorporate classroom pets in order to influence student engagement, achievement, and perceptions of animals. This was a small action research study conducted in a fourth grade science classroom. Both quantitative and qualitative data were obtained including, pre- and post-assessments, student interviews, researcher field notes, researcher journal, and student work. The results of this study revealed an increased academic achievement from the pre- to post-assessment, increased student observations and descriptions when discussing the animals, and increased student empathy toward the animals. The results also revealed that the teacher's incorporation of the animals within the science curriculum grew in ease over time, and that the animals provided the educator with opportunities to teach non-content related lessons and also a concrete experience for the teacher to apply and extend the science content.