St. Louis & Surrounding Areas
All services are provided in the comfort of your home.
Includes a brief examination by the veterinarian, a full assessment of your pet's quality of life, and a custom treatment plan to help you care for your pet and monitor their condition.
Includes a discussion with the veterinarian, medication to ensure comfort, gentle euthanasia, pawprint impression keepsake, lock of fur, and Lap of Love's Eternal Pawprints booklet. The additional cost for the varied cremation services are detailed in the Aftercare Pricing section.
Includes a brief examination by the veterinarian to help explain your pet's condition, discuss symptom management including pain and anxiety, and prepare an end of life care plan using the appropriate quality of life scale to manage your pet along with your family's needs and desires.
There may be an additional charge for extended travel (see Service Area below), holidays ($50 - $100), pets over 99 lbs, appointments outside normal business hours (when arranged), aggressive pets, and some exotic species.
Although we mainly see dogs and cats, some of our veterinarians can assist you with other species such as pigs, guinea pigs, rabbits, ferrets, birds, fish, and goats. Call for pricing and availability.
With this option, your pet is cremated privately at a licensed crematory. The ashes are contained in a lovely cherry wooden urn with an engraved tag and will be returned to your primary care veterinarian within two weeks. They can also be made available directly from the crematory or mailed to you.
This option is for families that don't wish to have their pet's ashes returned nor wish to bury at home. Pets are respectfully cremated with other pets at a licensed crematory and ashes are scattered by a pond in the country.
There may be a fee if additional assistance to safely carry your pet out of your home is needed.
We are here to answer your questions every day, from 6am - 10pm. Appointments are scheduled throughout the week, please call for availability.
Sometimes, pets take a turn for the worse overnight, so we do our best to accommodate same day appointments with a few hours notice when possible.
If this is a medical emergency, please contact your local veterinarian or one of the emergency clinics listed in the Local Resources section.
Let us introduce you to the amazing hospice veterinarians in your area.
Dawnetta Woodruff, DVM
From the age of 7, I knew I wanted to be a veterinarian. Growing up on a farm, our family had many dogs and cats - but as with most animal lovers, there is frequently one that touches your heart more than the rest. For me, that one was Whitey, my Great Pyrenees. She was by my side every day as I did chores at the barn, as I played outside, and even as I waited at the bus stop. She was a gentle soul, and always seemed to sense my mood. When I was happy she wanted to play, when I was sad she would sit with her head in my lap giving me comfort and companionship - but when I moved away to college, Whitey got sick. My parents called to tell me that Whitey may not be able to hang on until I returned home. I went home that weekend to see her one last time, and I felt blessed that during Whitey's last minutes, we were both at home and she was able to lay her head in my lap and pass away with dignity and in peace.
During my career as a veterinarian, I have worked in a mixed animal hospital, in an emergency clinic, and in a small animal hospital. The experiences have been very different, however my favorite aspect of the job remains the same; I love interacting with clients and witnessing the bond that they have with their pets. A pet loves unconditionally and brings joy to the family. I believe it is the same kind of unconditional love that allows us, as veterinarians and pet owners, to make the difficult decision of when to say goodbye to our beloved companions.
We are never truly ready to let go, and euthanasia is never an easy decision - however a familiar, comfortable environment can make the process less stressful and more peaceful for everyone. My hope is that I can provide a listening ear, professional advice, and a compassionate experience for you and your pet when the time comes to say goodbye and allow them move on to a better place.
Photo Courtesy of St. Louis Post Dispatch
Carrie Roberts, DVM
I wanted to be a veterinarian from a young age and consider myself lucky to have grown up in a family of medical professionals. My parents helped me nurse several injured animals (wild and domestic) back to health throughout my childhood. It was incredibly rewarding to watch those animals thrive, and it solidified my decision to pursue veterinary medicine.
Our family dog was an amazing Labrador named Shadow. She was an incredibly smart and loving dog. She was our shadow, always following us around to be part of our activities. She seemed to be able to sense and react to human emotions in a very special way, which made me feel even closer to her. When she fell ill suddenly, we were devastated. She was diagnosed with an aggressive form of cancer, and we were informed that surgery would not extend her life. We made the difficult decision that day to let her pass peacefully. It was incredibly painful to lose her, but I am thankful that she didn’t have to suffer. I will always be grateful for the time that we shared and all of the wonderful memories of Shadow that I keep close to my heart.
I grew up on the West Coast, and graduated from Oregon State University College of Veterinary Medicine in 2007. Since graduation, I have worked in small animal practices caring for dogs, cats, hamsters, guinea pigs, rodents, and other small pets. I especially enjoy working with senior pets and assisting them with their unique needs. I recognize that a lot of pets are fearful upon entering a veterinary hospital and assisting with end of life care surrounded by their family with treats, toys, blankets can ease their distress.
I consider it a privilege to work with pets in the comfort of their own home. I enjoy hearing stories about each pet and how they have touched the hearts of their loving owners. The human-animal bond is truly beautiful and special. Helping pets pass peacefully is one way I can help honor that bond.
My husband and recently moved to the St. Louis area with our four cats: JB, Wyatt, Izzy and Baker. We enjoy volunteering with rescue organizations to help find forever homes for pets.
Dawnetta Woodruff, DVM
"Thank you Dr. Dawnetta and the whole team at Lap of Love Veterinary Hospice. They helped me make the most difficult decision on February 6th, 2017. To let my best little friend Woody (aka Woodrow Wilson) be at rest. They gave me strength by lovingly and honestly telling me it was time. I was so confused and their professional guidance made me brave for Woody. Dr. Dawnetta and Jeff came to my house where he was let go without pain, in my arms...his favorite place. I miss him so, but I know it was he right thing. He wasn't interested in eating anymore. Even refusing Greenies, which were his fave! He was the most proud, handsome, feisty, gentle, and loving fellow! I miss him..his face, those ears, his fluff, his snuggles...we hiked roughly 10,080 miles during our precious time together! I miss him...my beautiful little shadow. I am forever grateful for our time together, and our last moment on earth being so peaceful and pain and full of love. Woody and I thank Dr Dawnetta and all of the incredible people at Lap of Love Veterinary Hospice, St. Louis Area, LLC. He is at peace."
Janice VirantSt. Louis, Missouri
"In all my imaginings, it never occurred to me that I would lose my beloved Grover. He had slipped on the ice and, I believed, had sprained his leg. I couldn't get him into my car because he couldn't put any weight on his front leg going up and down his ramp. I tried everything I could to alleviate his pad in, but finally called Lap of Love for a hospice visit, hoping that we could get him pain relief for at least 6 months. When Dr. Dawnetta visited and checked my sweet baby out, she concluded that he probably had bone cancer. I was stunned and horrified. I am so very grateful to Dr. Dawnetta for the pain relief she prescribed, but the bone cancer had progressed and metastisized and my sweet boy was in too much pain. I called and she came out and helped me say good-bye to my darling beloved pup. I will miss this marvelous dog for the rest of my life, but Dr. Dawnetta and her wonderful kind husband, Jeff, rescued us both when we were desperate."
Cynthia HornbuckleSt. Louis, Missouri
"My father took Fritz as a puppy, and when my father had to leave his own home due to health problems, Fritz was just 3 years old. Fritz came to live with me and my husband, moving from a country environment to the city life. He adapted well, because basically he liked to be anywhere his family was. He liked car rides, and was ready to jump in when the car door opened. Fritz didn't like the vet's office, but was fine going for the ride. But once we were in the parking lot, be absolutely balked at getting out of the car. We made many trips back to the country, where he freely chased squirrels and rabbits, never catching any. My Dad would put a piece of red licorice in his shirt pocket and Fritz would walk up his chest to get it. He would get the last lick of popsicle from my husband, and he would stare you down for the last nibble of a sandwich. He was fine with me going to work, but he didn't like it if I went away for a day or two. If he saw me get the suitcase out, he never left my side. I would have to get my husband to take him for a walk so I could put my suitcase in the car without him knowing. Fritz was our faithful companion for 12 years, living to the age of 15. When Fritz began having problems with his back legs, and some difficulty breathing, I knew we would need to make a decision. Soon we were having to help him get up, and he fell many times because his legs just didn't support him. But I really dreaded having to take him to the vet's office, and adding that extra distress. I mentioned to a friend that I needed to do something and she told me about Lap of Love. Just the concept gave me immediate relief, and when I called, they were kind, considerate, and understanding. Our appointment was scheduled quickly, and Dr. Dawnetta came on time. Fritz was able to stretch out as he always did, and while we were petting him and stroking his head and ears, he left us peacefully. Dr. Dawnetta did not rush the process, and gave us time with Fritz before administering the final drug. I know it was time to let go, and I know he didn't suffer, and I am so thankful there is such a service as Dr. Dawnetta offers. I have already recommended this service to other people, and will continue to do so. I can't thank Dr. Dawnetta and Lap of Love enough for making this painful process so much better."
Connie ReifsteckSt. Louis, Missouri
"Fear PARALYZED me…..fear of what MIGHT be wrong with Cooper, fear of POSSIBLY losing Cooper, fear of when, where and WHY this life changing decision might have to be made. Unfortunately, that fear quickly turned to the greatest love and compassion that I could possibly ever show Cooper…..LAP OF LOVE VETERINARY HOSPICE and DR. DAWNETTA WOODRUFF.
Words cannot express how peaceful, loving and sympathetic the entire staff at Lap of Love was during this emotional journey. From the initial phone call to inquire about the service, to the informative articles about knowing when it was time to make this difficult decision as well as the various follow-up calls with Dr. Dawnetta checking on Cooper throughout the day……everyone supported me, shared stories with me and reassured me that there was always a chance to change my mind…..even until the VERY end.
Dr. Dawnetta’s knowledge, kindness and genuine love for animals made my decision much easier. She answered all of my questions and explained Cooper’s behaviors in a way that enabled me to see and accept what was happening to him. Words that resonated with me……IT’S BETTER TO DO IT A WEEK TOO EARLY THAN TO WAIT AN HOUR TOO LATE……and for this and many other reasons, I was able to help Cooper peacefully take his trek across the Rainbow Bridge.
Hopefully you find this information comforting and when the time comes, please consider contacting Dr. Dawnetta and Lap of Love.
---In Loving Memory,
Cooper’s Mom a.k.a Deana"
Deana DavisSaint Louis, Missouri
"Katt, our beloved 14 year old dog, had sudden kidney failure in December. We had to put her to sleep a week before Christmas. Our vet was out of town, so the emergency hospital that Katt was at recommended Dr. Dawnetta Woodruff. We cannot thank Dr. Dawnetta enough for her very caring and professional care. This was the first time that a pet of ours was put to sleep at home and that is the way we will do it in the future. And even if our vet is in town, we will ask Dr. Dawnetta instead. She is a true angel on earth, and made a very sad time so much easier to cope with. Thank you Dr. Dawnetta!"
Debra D.St. Louis, Missouri
"I can't recommend Dr. Dawnetta enough. We had to put both of our beloved cats to sleep in 2016 and she made the experience so much easier for everyone involved. Both cats hated to travel so allowing them to be at home in a comfortable space surrounded by loved ones and their favorite things was priceless. I put our family dog to sleep years ago with my father and the drive to and from the vet was just awful--those trips were avoided with this service which was such a relief. Dr. Dawnetta is so thoughtful, compassionate and professional I couldn't have wished for anything more. She made a painful experience as peaceful and comfortable as possible for all involved."
Jeff GoldSt. Louis, Missouri
Pet Life and Loss Support Services
St Louis: Animal Emergency Clinic South (Big Bend & 141)
St Louis: Animal Emergency Clinic O'Fallon
St Louis: Associated Veterinary Specialists (Bridgeton)
St Louis: Midwest Veterinary Referral Clinic (Chesterfield)
St Louis: Veterinary Specialty Services (Manchester)
Illinois: Animal Emergency Center (Collinsville)
Christine Corrigan Mendez, M.Ed., PLPC
Allison White (licensed social worker)
Baue Pet Services - grief class & pet loss support group
Paws Forever Pet Loss Support Group
Forever In My Heart Pet Loss Group - Franklin Co Humane Society
Helping families in the following areas:
Proudly serving the St. Louis / St. Louis Metro areas including:
Affton, Arnold, Ballwin, Chesterfield, Clayton, Fenton, Frontenac, Kirkwood, Lemay, Maryland Heights, Mehlville, Oakville, St Louis City, Sunset Hills, Town & Country, University City, Valley Park, Wildwood
Proudly serving the IL / Metro East areas including:
Belleville, Columbia, Dupo, Fairview Heights, Millstadt, Swansea, Waterloo
Preferred methods of payment are check (made to 'Lap of Love') or cash.
Most pet insurance companies cover Lap of Love services. Please have any paperwork ready for the veterinarian to complete so that you can submit it for reimbursement.
Lap of Love5640 B Telegraph Rd, #238St. Louis, MO 63129
Nine Network: Pet Hospice Home
Tails Pet Magazine: Conscious Living: Understanding Veterinary Hospice
Tails Pet Magazine: Caring Beyong a Cure: a Look at Veterinary Hospice
Metropet Magazine: Canine Grief - When Our Furry Friends Lose Their Buddy
St. Louis Post Dispatch: Pet Owners Say Goodbye at Home
St. Louis KPLR 11: Pet Hospice
St. Louis Fox 2: Pet Hospice Care
This Lap of Love location is owned and operated by Dr. Dawnetta Woodruff