Welcome to the Association of Exotic Mammal Veterinarians (AEMV). We are an association of veterinary professionals dedicated to advancing the care of ferrets, guinea pigs, rabbits, hamsters, rats, mice, chinchillas, hedgehogs, and other exotic companion mammals.


The Association of Exotic Mammal Veterinarians (AEMV) was established in 2000. Professional associations existed for veterinarians interested in avian, reptile/amphibian, zoo animal, wildlife, and laboratory animal medicine, however none existed for veterinarians wishing to offer the best medical and surgical care for owners of exotic companion mammals.

Since our founding, AEMV has grown to become an international association with more than 900 members, publishing its own scientific journal, the Journal of Exotic Pet Medicine (JEPM), and hosting an annual continuing education conference with fellow exotic species professional associations.


The committed and accomplished veterinarians and technicians on the AEMV Board of Directors are the driving force behind the success of the AEMV’s efforts. Members of the Board, in conjunction with AEMV’s Committee Chairs, provide both national and international perspectives on the impact of care and treatment among exotic companion mammals in the veterinary clinic setting. See below to learn more about our Board of Directors and Committees.

Board of Directors

  • President: Victoria Bender, DVM
  • President-Elect: Jessica Robertson, DVM, DACZM
  • Vice President: Eryn Hanak, DVM
  • Secretary: Marian Allison, DVM
  • Treasurer: Melissa Kling, DVM
  • Immediate Past-President: Sara Gardhouse, DVM, DACZM, DABVP (Exotic Comp Mammal Practice)
  • Member-At-Large: Rae Porter-Blackwell, DVM
  • Member-At-Large: Cathy Johnson-Delaney, DVM
  • Member-At-Large: Colleen Roman, DVM
  • Executive Director: Rayma Fisher

Committees & Chairs

  • Conference Committee: Sara Gardhouse, DVM, DACZM, DABVP (Exotic Comp Mammal Practice)
    • Conference Committee Co-Chair: Melissa Kling, DVM
    • Auction Committee: Colleen Roman, DVM
    • Hands-on Workshops Committee: Bill Guerrera, DVM
  • Education Committee: Rae Porter-Blackwell, DVM
  • International Committee: Julio Reyes, DVM, MSc & Rita Sousa, DVM
  • Marketing & Communications Committee: Colleen Roman, DVM
  • Membership Outreach Committee: Carla Christman, DVM
  • Nominating Committee: Jessica Robertson, DVM, DACZM
  • Scientific Committee: Joao Brandao, DVM
  • Legislative, Ethics & Welfare Committee: Cathy Johnson-Delaney, DVM

For committee descriptions, click here. If you’re interested in serving on a committee, email AEMV.

Diversity & Inclusion

The Association of Exotic Mammal Veterinarians is an organization of veterinary professionals that embraces diversity, including race, ethnicity, gender identity, gender expression, and sexual orientation. We value and seek diversity in our membership and are committed to a culture of inclusion and equity. We encourage and celebrate all approaches and points of view and expect dialogue within our membership that is respective and encompassing of diverse ideas, topics, perspectives, and issues.

Our members must hold themselves and their peers accountable to a professional code of conduct that bans and condemns racism, sexism, discrimination, violence, systemic injustice, and inequity. As fellow colleagues in this community, we ask all our members to commit to creating a profession where everyone within the community feels valued, safe and can reach their full potential regardless of race, ethnicity, gender identity, gender expression, or sexual orientation.

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