Dr. Thomas Boyer and Dr. Michelle Willette formed the Association of Reptilian and Amphibian Veterinarians in 1990. The association was initially known as AARV –Association of Amphibian and Reptilian Veterinarians. The name was changed to the current ARAV in 1992 to prevent confusion with the American Association of Retired Veterinarians.

Our logo is the Surinam toad, Pipa pipa with 2 snakes forming the fore and hind legs. The Associations first publication was the Bulletin of the AARV in 1991, which in 2000 became the peer reviewed scientific publication – the Journal of Herpetological Medicine and Surgery. The first annual conference was in 1994 in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania. Annual conferences have continued in the Untied States while ARAV expanded to directly supporting international meetings starting with Munich Germany in 2010.


Dr. Wilbur Amand served as the executive director from 1994 to 2014. Through the ARAV Research and Conservation fund we started awarding grants to herpetological veterinary research projects and have been able to expand the number awarded in recent years. The ARAV website was created in 1997 and was most recently redesigned in 2016. The ARAV successfully worked with American Board of Veterinary Practitioners to create a reptile and amphibian veterinary specialty and there are currently 13 veterinarians who have successfully earned the distinction of being a reptile and amphibian specialist.

The Fredrick Frye Lifetime achievement award was created in 1998 and it has been awarded to Dr. Fredrick Frye, Dr. Elliott Jacobson, Dr. John Cooper, Dr. Kevin Wright (posthumously), Dr. Wilbur Amand, and Dr. Douglas Mader. ARAV continues to expand our services to better serve veterinarians serving captive and wild reptile and amphibian species.

Historical Committee Reports