Small Animal

Chair: Brent Neil – Petco


Foster collaboration among the small animal community – rodents, birds, rabbits, and other small mammals – on regulatory and legislative issues impacting businesses, hobbyists, and environmental stewardship in the United States.


The Small Animal Care Subcommittee began as a collaborative effort on the part of the Pet Advocacy Network and industry leaders in small animal care to create a first-ever, comprehensive set of voluntary standards for breeders and distributors of small mammals, reptiles, and birds. The effort was a culmination of a year-long collaborative process among pet industry leaders, animal care experts, veterinarians, and many others to develop the care standards. After they were launched at the SuperZoo trade show in 2017, it was decided to create a more permanent and ongoing subcommittee to continue updating these established guidelines and care sheets.


The maintenance and updating of the animal care sheets continue to be the Small Animal Care Subcommittee’s primary purpose. More broadly, the subcommittee discusses small mammal, bird, and some reptile issues within the pet trade to share information and best practices, as well as advise on the Pet Advocacy Network’s position on small mammal and bird issues.

In addition to maintaining these industry and pet care standards, the subcommittee works closely with the Pet Advocacy Network’s Herp Committee on reptile and amphibian specific issues as well as the Zoonosis Committee on the prevention and spread of diseases between animals and humans.

The subcommittee also provides expert opinion on small animal care issues regarding governing and regulatory entities at the state and federal levels. Working alongside federal agencies such as the Centers for Disease Control and the United States Department of Agriculture, they review impactful legislation from states and localities across the country.


  • Facilitated meetings between bird care experts in the pet care community and the USDA in their on-going drafting of avian breeding regulations. Worked with avian community organizations to shape and submit comments on proposed rules that highlight the diversity of species-specific practices and impacts. 
  • Worked with Zoonosis Committee and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in addressing a Salmonella typhimurium outbreak in hedgehogs at the end of 2020
  • Created and undertook a comprehensive update of all Small Animal Standard of Care Sheets

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Advocating for the aquatic community on pet freshwater and marine fish regulatory and legislative issues

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Bringing together the canine care community to help people connect with and care for their canine companions.

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Fostering collaboration among the herp community on issues affecting pet reptiles and amphibians

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Working collaboratively on issues of disease prevention and the protection of human, animal and public health

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