Support Center of Lap of Love

  (855) 933-5683

  Support@LapofLove.com

Our Veterinary Care Coordinators are here to help, offering guidance and support for one of the hardest phone calls that we, as pet parents, may ever make. You are not alone, we are here for you every day of the week to coordinate and assist every step of the way. 

Adam Wayte

Adam was born in New York and raised in Central Florida.  The entirety of his life has been spent around animals; dogs, cats, birds, ducks, and rabbits. Pets have always been an integral part of the family.

After earning his Associates Degree in Art History in 2008 and working several years in retail, Adam decided to follow his passion for animals. In 2016, he joined a pet boarding and daycare resort where he could begin living his passion for the care of animals.

After three years of patronage to pets, Adam found himself searching for an opportunity to further serve pet families. In 2019, he was called to join the Lap of Love family. Adam has brought with him, his love for animals, compassion for people, and personal experience with the loss of a beloved pet to ensure pet families have the most loving end of life journey.

When not assisting pet parents, Adam enjoys spending his free time with his Pug Lulu, his family, and friends. He is an avid movie lover, enjoys the beach, and has quite the green thumb in the garden. Adam hopes to continue his pet care education by attending school to become a Certified Veterinary Technician.

Alex Puig

Alex moved to Florida from her hometown, Ellington, MO in 2014 to seek adventure and opportunity. She shares her life with an amazing husband and son, two dogs- Brodie and Belle, two cats- Regina and Romeo! Alex’s hobbies include spending time with her family (near and far), eating tacos, cooking and traveling.

Alex graduated from the Veterinary Technician Program at Jefferson College in Hillsborough, MO in 2011. She had the opportunity to work in large animal, small animal and also exotic practices.

Alex realized that she wanted to be a part of Lap of Love in 2016 when a fellow employee brought the company to her attention. She had always found humane euthanasia and quality end of life care to be such a blessing and have such a huge impact on the human-animal bond. Alex wanted to be able to utilize her empathy, knowledge and compassion on an advanced level, and to be able to make a difference. 

Amanda Higgins

After graduating from college with a degree in Criminal Justice, and working in the field for 6 years, Amanda needed a change. Her love for animals brought her to the Veterinary industry, where in 2006 she began her career as a Veterinary Assistant at a large 24-hour Animal Hospital. After 9 years of learning and growing there, she moved on to become the Practice Manager at a small one-doctor practice. 

When the opportunity to join Lap of Love came calling, Amanda immediately knew she wanted to be a part of such an amazing organization. Helping pets and their families are what being in the Veterinary field is all about, and with Lap of Love that is the #1 priority. Amanda looks forward to doing whatever she can to help!

Amanda Quillin

Amanda’s very first family pet was at age one, and so began her lasting love for animals. She has spent her time all over the state of Florida, pursuing education both in the saddle and veterinary clinic. In 2005, she made the decision to obtain her AS in Veterinary Technology while still pursuing her passion for equine event riding. 

Her love of all creatures and her belief in lifelong education have instilled in her a philosophy to provide the best care for animals and the people that love them.
After a 2018 conference, she decided that Lap of Love was where she wanted to dedicate her time when she isn’t in the saddle.

Angie Benatar

Angie is originally from Kentucky. She relocated to Pensacola FL in 2000 and has called this her home ever since. Angie began working in the veterinary technician field in 2003 and found her calling - helping animals. Angie has two cats - Latte and Romeow. Her free time is spent with her daughter who is a natural born animal lover like her Momma. Angie was drawn to Lap of Love while working in a veterinary clinic and seeing the need for excellent end of life care for our beloved companions.

Ann Beal

Ann was born and raised in Minnesota and, after vacationing in Florida one year, decided she preferred warm weather and beaches so she moved to the Tampa area. She and her husband Tom have been rescuing dogs (primarily Yorkies, Schnauzers and the occasional Maltese) since 1996. Their rescue specialty has always been special-needs and older dogs, and they currently have several of their own. After a long career in the telecommunications field, Ann decided to pursue opportunities where she felt she could truly make a difference. Since animals have always been her first love, a new career with Lap of Love seemed to be a perfect fit. Having been through the pain and heartache of losing dogs over the years, she felt her experience could help fellow animal lovers through the painful process. When a good friend (who is also a Lap of Love employee) told her about an opening, she jumped at the chance. Ann feels very blessed and honored to be a part of the Lap of Love team and hopes to make this difficult time just a little easier. 

Annie Whalen

Annie was born in South Florida and raised in beautiful Naples. She and her six sisters grew up surrounded by Florida’s lush, tropical beauty. Many childhood days were spent outside, exploring treasured beaches and mangrove sanctuaries. Those days instilled in Annie a deep appreciation for Florida’s wildlife and natural beauty, and a strong desire to learn more. She started studying biology at The University of Florida and graduated with a BS in Agriculture.

Her passion to work more with horses was fulfilled with her first job out of college. For 2 years, she lived on a thoroughbred breeding farm in Ocala, FL working as a groom. There she helped care for the broodmares, foals, and yearlings as well as assisting in managing the farm.This was very fulfilling work, however, after two years she was looking ahead to a new challenge.

Her travels around the U.S. eventually brought her to Colorado and she settled near Vail. There she was lucky to have “Bentley”, a beautiful standard poodle as a housemate. Bentley and Annie became fast friends, sharing hiking trails and adventures all around Colorado. Everywhere they went, Bentley brought smiles and joy to everyone, which inspired Annie to look into animal-assisted therapy. Working with “Pet Partners”, they soon became a certified “team” visiting patients and staff in local hospitals and cancer centers.

Helping Bentley through hospice and through his final days, was the most difficult experience of Annie’s life.  However, it was an honor to give her best friend the gift of a peaceful passing at home and finally no more pain.

Annie joined Lap of Love in 2017. She is now able to share her empathy with other pet families who are struggling with the same end of life journey she had with Bentley. It is very fulfilling for her to help families understand, the most honorable gift we can give our pets is a gentle, dignified passing at home.

Ashley Rasanen

Ashley is the proud mom of two amazing yet crazy pups. Lotus, a Black Lab/Basset mix, and Lucy a Black Lab/Boxer mix. She has never known a day without the love and companionship of her fur friends. The day Ashley was brought home from the hospital as a baby, her dad surprised both her and her mother with a Vizsla puppy named Max. He was her best friend/brother for the first 15 years of her life, and will forever be the gold standard for how important the human-animal bond is. She was fortunate enough to grow up with loving parents who indulged in her need to adopt every stray fur baby she could lure into her home with that infamous phrase “can we keep him?” Ashley now feels an incredible sense of honor to share her love and compassion with families as they journey through this delicate process with their truly beloved companions.

Ashley Velez

Ashley was born and raised in the Sunshine State where she and her boyfriend share their home with their 3 adopted kitties, Boomer, Orchid, and Jago. When she isn’t loving on her fur babies, she enjoys writing, music, and spending time in nature.

Since childhood, Ashely recalls always having a special bond with animals; owning dogs, hamsters, rats, and guinea pigs. After years of stray dogs finding their way into Ashley’s home (even if it wasn’t always with her parent's permission), she became certain she wanted to dedicate her life to pets and their families.

After two years of working hands-on with pets, Ashey sought an opportunity to assist pet families with a deeper connection. In 2019, she was introduced to Lap of Love, where she would be able to expand her experience and love for animals in helping to honor the special bond between pets and their families at the end of their journey.  

Barbara Duva

Barbara has always been fascinated with the human-animal bond and found her calling in helping families through one of the most difficult decisions. She has lived all over the United States and has returned home to Florida to become a part of Lap of Love in May 2018.  She shares her life with her sweet Pembroke Corgi, Fergie, and her two cats, Shelby and Lolita. In her spare time, she enjoys writing stories, sewing, cooking and sleeping. 

Her work in the veterinary field spans over 8 years, and positions from part-time receptionist to practice manager.  Working with clients dealing with difficult decisions, hospice care and end of life issues is her forte. Her passion in life is helping others. One of her favorite quotes comes from Dalai Lama ~ “Our prime purpose in this life is to help others, and if you can’t help them at least don’t hurt them.” 

Brian Caffee

Brian grew up in Gainesville and graduated from the University of Florida with a BA in Criminal Justice.  He worked as a police officer in Gainesville before meeting his wife.  Growing up Brian’s family had German Shepherds and while a policeman he used to volunteer with the K9 unit as a “bad guy” wearing a bite suit.  In 1998 he changed careers and moved to Tampa to be with his wife. They now have 2 teenage daughters and a Border Collie named Dyson (after the vacuum cleaner because he picks up everything).  Between working 2 jobs and the demands of family life Brian does not have the time he would like for hobbies but he makes time to play Frisbee with Dyson whenever he can.

Chelsea Holmes

Chelsea is a Florida native and fur mom of two huskies and three cats. After studying veterinary technology, she has been working in the field as a Veterinary Technician since 2010. She has had the pleasure of working with a large array of animals including companion, exotic, large, and domestic-wildlife animals. Chelsea learned of Lap of Love while working as a technician in Tampa and jumped at the opportunity to join the team in 2018.

Cheryl Wyatt

Cheryl is a mother of three daughters, Sarah, Maria and Rose, and four fur babies, including two Chihuahuas, Tony and Penny Lane, a black Lab, Lilly, and a cat, Smokey.  She lives in Oldsmar, Florida, very close to Old Tampa Bay, where she strolls with her furry loves every evening. Having been raised in the military, it has always been a passion of hers to nurture and care for animals where ever in the world she happened to live. As a child, when other little girls were pushing dolls in their baby buggies, she was strolling around with kittens and puppies, and the occasional frog in hers! She was working as a Paralegal in a law office when she met Dr. Dani.  When she learned about Lap of Love, and how she could help families and their precious babies, she knew this was her calling, and she left her legal career behind. As someone who has always had a passion for animals and their welfare, she feels this is her contribution to help prevent pain and suffering from occurring in them, and to help bring them and their families peace.

Courtney McCahan

After graduating from Georgia Southern with her B.S. in Child and Family Development with an emphasis in Family Services, Courtney decided to pursue her life-long dream of working with animals. In 2017, Courtney began working at an Animal Hospital in Kingsland, Georgia, where she wore the hat of a receptionist, a Veterinary Assistant, and was even the honorary Practice Manager. This animal hospital inspired her to further her education and eventually enroll in the Veterinary Technician program at Penn Foster.
Courtney had been actively searching for an opportunity that would encompass both her passion for helping families and her love for animals. In 2019, she had the opportunity to attend a class led by Dr. Dani McVety where she learned of Lap of Love’s mission to support pet families with compassion. She knew that this was an opportunity to join a team that values and honors a beloved family member's end-of-life journey.
In her free time, Courtney loves spending time with her husband, Cole and her three dogs, Beau (the English Setter), Cub (the Chow/Lab/Pit/Chihuahua mix), and Copper (the English/Irish Setter mix). Being a fur-mom has been the biggest blessing and has taught her so much about the human-animal bond. Being able to help families honor this bond is one of the many reasons Courtney is thrilled to be a part of the Lap of Love family.  

Cristina Perez

Cristina was born and raised in Tampa, Florida. She has been happily married to Robert since 2008 and has a handsome little boy, Noah. She has been in the animal-medical field since 2001, working for an animal emergency clinic. She met Dr. Dani and Lap of Love in 2014. It is so rewarding to be able to help families and their companion animals through such a difficult time in their lives. She couldn't have asked for a greater honor. 

Cynthia Salinsky

Originally from Connecticut, Cindy moved to Florida to enjoy the sun and outdoor activities in 1998. She has worked in many industries including real estate, insurance, and for over 15 years was a business owner of a local floral shop. Cindy always held onto the dream of becoming a Certified Veterinary Technician and her dreams came true when she graduated from St. Petersburg's College Veterinary Technology program in 2012. Her leisure activities include running, biking, snorkeling and being out on the water on her paddle board. She shares her home with 3 feline pals; Domino, Petey and Abby. Domino enjoys walks outdoors on a leash, Petey is the grand master at the "cat nap" and Abby (the youngest) will always remain the rambunctious "kitten"!

In 2018, Cindy joined the Lap of Love family. As a pet owner, and Veterinary Technician, she has witnessed the tremendous human-animal bond between owners and their pets, and believes there is no greater honor than to support that bond. Part of the cycle of life is having to say goodbye to our loved ones and she feels that our four-legged family members should be afforded the same peaceful and meaningful passing that we would hope to give our two-legged family members.

Dana Rine

Born and raised in the Sunshine State, Dana treasured growing up surrounded by nature. She remained there for college and earned her M.A. in English from the University of South Florida. She spent three summers studying literature at the University of Cambridge in England. Her humanities education fostered sympathy for and an understanding of the world as an interconnected whole; this background has been vital to her growth, both personally and professionally, first as an educator and now as a care coordinator. 

Several years ago, Dana began volunteering to help homeless animals after adopting an adorable beagle/basset mix from a local rescue. She currently has four rescue dogs--two Shiba Inus (Roz and Hayate) and two beagles (Max and Jimmy). She and her husband met at the local dog park, where their Shiba Inus became fast friends and ultimately their matchmakers. When not working, she enjoys participating in her local dog park community and going on fun adventures with her crew, most recently to the beach. Her hobbies include photographing pets and rediscovering Florida. 

She is honored to be part of the Lap of Love family, which she joined on the one year (to the day) anniversary of her beloved senior beagle Rusty's passing. She considers this opportunity to help families to be a wonderful means of further commemorating her sweet boy and their unshakable bond.

Danya Linehan, DVM

Danya is an Ohio resident geographically, but a New England-er at heart. She moved to Columbus, Ohio in 1989 to attend Ohio State Veterinary School, and subsequently graduated in 1993. She immediately started her first official job as a veterinarian, thus fulfilling her child-hood dream that never subsided. Danya was in private practice until 2006, when she transitioned into teaching and curriculum development in the veterinary technology program, and other animal welfare-related programs. She is also a part-time shelter veterinarian, at a local feline shelter. 

As she fell in love with her work, she simultaneously fell in love with her best friend and fellow animal advocate, Mike Parks. He ultimately became her husband in 2001, and continued to be her partner in animal rescue, feline behavior, TNR and essentially all things cat related. In 2017, they founded a non-profit organization called Felines in Need, (FIN), and their home became the FIN sanctuary for 18 permanent resident cats. The validation of non-profit status made the couple’s crazy cat house seem just a little less crazy. 

Danya considers her varied work in the animal field to be one of her strongest passions. In addition, she loves spending time hiking in the woods, writing, hanging out at the horse barn, and tap dancing. Until his death in January, 2018, Mike Parks was truly her number one love. Mike’s cancer diagnosis, their incredible experience with human hospice care, and his untimely death were all catalysts for her decision to join the Lap of Love family. 

Deborah Easterling-Charles

Deborah has had pets all her life. She is active in animal rescue at the local and national level, having worked several large-scale hoarding and dogfighting cases, and an illegal raid. 

Deborah started teaching CPR for the American Heart Association in 1998 and currently teaches classes for the Baptist Health System in Jacksonville.  She worked in veterinary medicine as a receptionist, supervisor, and practice manager. This work experience exposed her to families who had to make the difficult, compassionate decision for their companions but had very little emotional support.  

Deborah realized the importance of and need for compassion and kindness during the end of life process.  She jumped at the opportunity to join Lap of Love and help families through the process of giving their loved ones a peaceful passing.  Additionally, Deborah fosters neonate kittens through Animal Care and Protective Services and wildlife orphans through the Wildlife Rescue Coalition of Northeast Florida. When she is not saving the furbabies, Deborah’s hobbies include painting, knitting, and scuba diving.

Dianne Waunsch

Dianne was born and raised in New York. She and her family moved to North Carolina in 2004 where she found her life's calling in veterinary medicine. She decided to make it official and graduated with her Associates in Applied Science to become a Registered Veterinary Technician in 2010.

Dianne and her family longed for the tropical life, and so in 2012, they followed their dreams to make Cape Coral, Florida their home.  Dianne also spent many years in human health care as a home care companion. She strives to find ways to ease pain and reduce suffering in every being she encounters; she sees it as part of her goal to improve the human condition.

Dianne shares her home with her husband, her two dogs named Zeus and Stormy, their three cats, Chuck Norris, Bubbles, and their newest addition, a Manx kitten named Arya. Dianne and her husband also have two grown children, a son, and daughter, that live nearby. In her free time, Dianne enjoys spending time with her loved ones, including pets, kayaking, painting, and fishing.

When Dianne found Lap of Love, she immediately knew that she wanted to join their team. From her very first contact, the genuine warmth and compassion she received was an indicator to her that she had not only found her purpose but also, she found "her people". Dianne was very excited and grateful for the privilege to begin working with Lap of Love in 2019. She is honored by the opportunity to help ease suffering and bring comfort to families at such a difficult time.

Donna Vorobel

Donna was born and raised in Tennessee. As a child she lived on a farm where she learned to love and appreciate animals. She spent most of her time with her horse "Bo", at Dressage expositions.  She is married and has two grown children and three wonderful grandchildren. Prior to coming to Lap of Love she was a middle school, Language Arts teacher and an Elementary School Principal, both very rewarding careers. She is looking forward to continuing to make a difference in people's lives at Lap of Love. As a person who deeply cares about people and animals she feels very blessed to be able to partner with all the very loving, caring people at Lap of Love. She is deeply impressed with the passion of the Doctors and the dedication of the support center team. She believes together they can provide families with a gentle, compassionate end of life experience for their furry babies. She considers it an honor to be a part of Lap of Love.

Erin Vaccaro

Erin was born and raised in Tampa, Florida. Growing up she developed a great love for horses and dogs that she still treasures today. Growing up she enjoyed spending time in the barn caring for her horses, taking lessons, showing, and being a member of the United States Pony Club. Her love for dogs began with Little Bit the long hair dachshund. The pair first met when Erin was 3 years old and Little Bit was 3 months old, it was love at first sight. Little Bit lived a beautiful life to the old age of 21. She was truly a life long friend that will always be in Erin’s heart. Shortly after Little Bit passed Erin adopted Jake a handsome pit mix. He is an alliance therapy dog who brings happiness and joy to everyone he meets.

Erin attended the University of South Florida where she graduated with a bachelor’s degree in communication sciences and disorders. She is also a PATH, International Certified Therapeutic Instructor and dedicates her free time to the equine assisted therapeutic riding field at local therapeutic facilities. 

Jacquelin Wester

Jacquelin was born in Arlington, TX but has lived in the Tampa, FL area most of her life.  She has had a love for animals her entire life and has worked with Lost Angels Animal Rescue for over 10 years helping with administrative functions as well as fostering dogs of all breeds from Pitbulls to JRT's.   Jacque has several dogs and a cat, all rescued and added a human baby boy to her pack in 2016.  She recently left her career as an Accountant to join the Lap of Love family.  

Jenna Copeland

Jenna was born in Philadelphia, PA but has called many places in the country her home. Her career in the veterinary field started with Rutgers University, double majoring in Microbiology and Biochemistry while also attending Vet Tech school.

After graduation, Jenna began her experience as a chemist (medical research & wet chemistry). She expanded her experience to include the head of the research department, volunteering as a tech, and managing UF’s large-animal hospital whilst attending veterinary school.

Jenna feels privileged to have experienced a great deal in her career. She has worked all over the world in general practice, ER medicine, zoos, specialty practices and has specialization in surgery, anesthesia, and analgesia. Along with other various exciting and rewarding veterinary roles, her passions include the compassionate care of animals as well as education. She is currently back in school getting her BS in forensic accounting with a fast-track MBA.

After 25 years of serving in the veterinary field, Jenna discovered the Lap of Love organization at a veterinary conference. Dr. Dani McVety’s passion for the care and love that goes into the end of life journey called Jenna to join the Lap of Love family. She feels very privileged to work with the wonderful people at Lap of Love and is honored to help families with their loved ones in their time of need.

Jennifer Harney

Jenny has lived all over the United States, but spent the most time living in Washington state, so that is where she calls "home". She has been in Florida since 2011, and she has worked as a veterinary medical professional since 2008. She shares her home with her fiance, and their 14-year-old cat, Salem. In her free time, she likes to travel. Her favorite places that she has traveled so far have been Italy, Alaska, and Canada. Her favorite part of being a Veterinary Technician has been animal rescue, rehome, and rehabilitation. Jenny joined Lap of Love in 2017 with a heart full of love and compassion for those going through such an incredibly difficult time.

Jennifer Rudy

Jen is a lifelong animal lover and a veterinary technician since 2001. During her veterinary career she had the opportunity to work in private practice, emergency, and non-profit hospitals. She was very excited to begin helping families at Lap Of Love in February 2017.

Jennifer Santiago

Jen is originally from Great Falls, MT but currently resides in Brandon, FL with her Australian Shepherd Sadie. She has lived in the Brandon area for over 17 years. Her hobbies include reading, watching Netflix and petting every dog and cat she sees in public.

Jen has been an animal lover her entire life so being able to combine that passion with her drive to help others is what led her to Lap of Love. She is thankful that she is able to help guide families through the difficult process of saying goodbye and provide comfort and reassurance that their beloved pet is in the best of hands.

Josue Rosario

Josue is a passionate servant at heart. He strives to learn about life on a daily basis to grow continuously through every experience. Being a student, his goal is to obtain his bachelor's degree in International business and further his education in Pharmacy or Psychology.  He is driven by the motivation to succeed and to help in any way possible. He believes that working with excellence and showing care to things goes a long way. Josue is a very spiritual person that believes that love conquers all odds. He believes that through life, in every situation there is a way to achieve peace and prosperity. Josue loves to sing, dance and cook because it brings joy to the people around him. Josue also enjoys the finer things that life has to offer and tends to wine and dine and shop too much. He loves sharing his heart with people that are broken and looking for validation during hard times. It makes him feel whole, and brings a level of fulfillment knowing that his voice transcends peace over people's lives during difficult times. His love for animals enhances his connection with each family that calls in. Josue feels blessed to have found such a wonderful place to work and share his time as he grows and learns about life. 

Julia Penner-Zook

Julia Penner-Zook was born in Canada, but has lived most of her adult life in the US or Europe. She has a Master’s degree in Theology, is a published author, translator and editor. She also holds a certification in life coaching. Julia is married and has 2 adult children and 5 vivacious grandchildren. She has had furry family members frequently throughout her life. Most recently, she was Mom to a Maltese rescue, Scooter, who won hearts wherever he went. In September, two wonderful Lap of Love veterinarians helped ease Scooter to the Rainbow Bridge. This was a profoundly difficult but heartwarming experience. It was this experience that nudged her to find a niche in this wonderful organization. When not pursuing one of several lines of work, she loves to spend time with family and friends, run, read and bake pies!

Kaitlyn Leiter

Katie was born and raised in New Hampshire where she fell in love with the great outdoors and animals all shapes and sizes. She grew up spending her spare time in a local barn, caring for horses in exchange for riding lessons. As soon as she was old enough, she spent her summers on a variety of working guest ranches throughout the West. These experiences led her to earn her Bachelor’s of Science in Psychology from Montana State University. After living in Montana from 2012-2017, she made the leap to move to Florida. Katie spends her free time getting out in nature as much as possible and is always joined by Gracie who is one very exuberant and goofy labradoodle.

After learning about Lap of Love, she jumped on the opportunity to combine her love of animals, serving others, and a listening ear. Katie believes that every furry friend is just as important an equal member of the family and hopes to help make this process a little easier.

Karin Smith

Karin was born and raised in the hustling and bustling Washington D.C. area. The sunny beaches and sparkling waters called her name all the way to Tampa Bay where she completed her Bachelor's Degree in Psychology at the University of South Florida. Having always been the resident "cat lady" with her friends and family, she followed her passion into a career in veterinary medicine. She has worked in animal shelters and general practice. Her love of caring for animals led her to Lap of Love where she focuses on assisting families through the end of life journey for their companions. Karin shares her home with a pair of chihuahuas and three of the finest felines a gal could ask for. Karin often says that without them, her home would be clean but her heart would be empty!

Kaycee Davis

Kaycee moved to Orlando in 2015 to fulfill her lifelong dream of helping animals and the people that love them. After several years in practice as a Veterinary Technician, Kaycee began her journey with Lap of Love in October 2018. She is honored to be here, and to help make such a difficult part as easy as she can. She shares her life with her wife Chelsea, Daughter Scarlett, four fur babies (three dogs and one cat). Phoenix and Harper the Dalmatians, Dutchess the Chihuahua and Jet the queen kitty. 

Kaycee's hobbies include spending way too much time at Disney, running a small photography business and visiting with family. 

Kristen Lombard

Kristen was born in Covina, California and moved to Nevada when she was 5 years old. Growing up, she spent her days riding horses and taking care of the farm. At a young age, Kristen knew that her life journey would involve working with animals. 

In 2006 she joined a small animal hospital and has served in the veterinary field ever since. Her experience includes emergency and critical care, small animal medicine, and specialty practice. She currently calls Idaho home with her husband, daughter, and furkids.


After searching for a greater, heartfelt way to assist pet families, Kristen joined the Lap of Love family. She looks forward to starting her journey with such a compassionate mission!

Kristin Hecht

Kristin is the definition of a Dog Mom. She shares her home with two spoiled rescues; Axle and Harley. In her spare time, Kristin can be found going for a run or taking her fur babies to the park.


During her 8 years as a Veterinary Technician, Kristin had made it her mission to be present to comfort each pet as they crossed over the rainbow bridge. In 2015 she welcomed a senior dog, Phoebe into the family. When Phoebe approached the end of her battle with mast cell, Kristin reached out to Lap of Love. The compassion she felt in speaking to the doctor called her to join the Lap of Love family. 


Kristin feels that our animals do so much for us and that it is an honor for her to play a small part in making beloved pets comfortable during the end of their journey. 

Laurie Rankin

Laurie was born and raised in Pinellas county, Florida where she continues to live with her husband of over 20 years, their two handsome teenage sons, 4 cats and 1 dog. Laurie has worked as a Certified Veterinary Technician in private practices dealing with exotic pets, at the county animal shelter and as an adjunct instructor for St. Petersburg College's Veterinary Technology program.  Laurie has long been a proponent of debunking myths about shelters and talking openly with others about euthanasia in a positive light rather than with the usual knee jerk reaction that euthanasia is "bad."  While moderating lectures for a local veterinary conference, Laurie crossed paths with Dr. Dani and Lap of Love and has been on the sidelines cheerleading for this fabulous service ever since.  She knew then that it was only a matter of time before she would join this wonderful group of caring, compassionate people to assist owners in granting their fur babies the gift of a peaceful, dignified passing.  When not working, Laurie enjoys spending time with family, traveling the country, reading and watching movies.

Liana Flores

Liana is a native Floridian, born and raised in Tampa. She spent 16 years in the corporate world when her position was eliminated. In finding her new passion, she decided she wanted to find a place that would provide her the opportunity to give back to the community.  

She found Lap of Love through her personal experiences.  It was then, she decided, that she wanted to be a part of that culture. In 2019 she joined the Lap of Love team and hopes to help ease the pain of saying goodbye.  

Lisa Dinolov

Lisa joins Lap of Love after recently graduating from University of South Alabama College of Nursing. She lives with two cats, two dogs, and one love bird. She loves working with people and with animals. The most rewarding part of working with Lap of Love families is knowing they receive the most compassionate and gentle care from our doctors. Being part of such a supportive group of animal lovers and knowing families entrust us with their most precious gift, their beloved companion pet, is a great honor for Lisa.

Lisa Sagan

Lisa was born and raised in Erie, Pennsylvania where she first found her love of animals. In 2005, she started working in the veterinary field as an assistant in a general practice clinic. She soon found her love of emergency medicine and joined a local emergency practice. She went on to get her Associates of Science in Veterinary Technology degree and became certified. Her love for animals has always been the drive of compassion for not only our pets but also their loving caretakers.  Through the years she recognized that hospice and end of life care has been one of the hardest in the veterinary community and with that, she hopes that her education and learned skills will help others during difficult times. After working in general practice, emergency medicine, and most recently with a feline-only practice, Lisa found that joining the Lap of Love family in 2018 was the next path on her journey. Lisa currently resides in Tennessee with her boyfriend and their 3 furry lap cats (Miko, Lil'Mister, and Milo).

Lynn Gipprich

Growing up in the suburbs of Philadelphia, Lynn spent her days trying to play with whatever animal she could find. She always knew that her life would revolve around them.

Her humble start began as a job working at a pet store, but her career would begin in earnest when she attended Boston University in 1989 and worked for the New England Aquarium as her work-study job. Later, she would volunteer over 3000 hours there.

In the Fall of 1995, her interested shifted to medicine and Lynn began working as a Vet Tech in Marblehead, MA as well as volunteering in marine mammal husbandry at the Cape Cod National Marine Fisheries. Her home life seemed to echo her career as she was the proud owner of dogs, cats, reptiles, and a variety of fish.

Having visited Florida as a child, she fell in love with the environment and decided to one day call the state her home. Lynn made the decision to return to the Tampa Bay area in 2017 and joined the amazing team at Lap of Love; she is honored that she could remain working with pets and share her love while helping them and their people.

Mary Rose

Mary was born and raised in Dublin, Ireland and earned her Degree in Veterinary Nursing from the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons in London, England. Having worked for veterinary practices in Europe and the United States, Mary developed a unique perspective and empathy in helping pet owners to cope with and resolve issues on their journey of loss and remembrance.

She and her husband have traveled extensively throughout the world and embraced the many different cultures, traditions and customs they encountered. The sunshine and moderate temperatures of Florida were irresistible and Tampa became home in 2009.

Megan Avis

Megan lives in Dallas, TX with her 3 dogs Melody, Asher and River. She considers herself to be the absolute definition of a dog-mom and loves her dogs more than anything in the world!

After working in law enforcement for two years, she decided to pursue her passion for animals and move into the Veterinary field. Megan’s search for a more rewarding role began after she unexpectedly lost her one-year-old boxer mix in April 2019. She realized that she wanted to help pet families and make the process of losing their beloved pet just a bit easier if at all possible, so she joined Lap of Love in 2019!

In her spare time, she volunteers with local non-profit animal rescues and fosters dogs.  Megan does as much as she can for any animal and treats them all like they are her own. She loves to travel and photograph as many memories as she can.

Mike Mischler

Mike was raised in the Adirondacks Mountains of northern New York.  After graduating from the Culinary Institute of America, he traveled around the country perfecting his culinary skills.  During his travels, he had the opportunity to work on Captiva Island Florida. This is when he fell in love with Southwest Florida, hoping to return at some point in his life.  He went on to further his education and became a teacher of Culinary Arts and Hospitality Management, which he did until he retired in 2013. He then relocated to his beloved Southwest Florida, with his best friend Chloe, a beautiful Standard Poodle, fulfilling his lifelong dream.

Growing up in the Adirondacks, he always had a love for animals both wild and domestic, even having a family of seven raccoons that would come every night for dinner.  Needless to say, each and everyone had a name. Over his lifetime he rescued quite a few animals from homes that could not care for them any longer.  The list includes cats, dogs, fish, and birds all having a special place in his heart.  

In 2019, he was introduced to the Lap of Love organization by a very close friend. After researching the company and the services that they provide, he found his home in the mission to serve others. He looks forward to helping pet owners in making decisions for the care of their best friends.  He truly believes an animal’s love is unconditional.

Molly Hayes

Molly has a background in communications and has cared for animals at two veterinary practices before joining the Lap of Love family. She was drawn to the opportunity to support families through the most tender stages of their furry loved one's life. Molly spends her free time volunteering in animal rescue and has a passion for fostering senior, hospice care, and special needs dogs. She is also a proud mom to five adopted potbellied pigs and a Lionhead rabbit.

Nick Labriola

Nick was born in West Long Branch, NJ and spent most of his life in Cary, NC. He has been fascinated by all animals since his Dad found a box turtle in their driveway at 5 years old. Since then, Nick currently shares his home with a chihuahua, two cats, two sugar gliders, two snakes, and a betta fish. 

Nick was never a great student and really didn't want to go to college. His path led him to NC State University where he decided to major in Zoology because of his interest in animals, while enrolled he started a job at an exotic specialty hospital in Raleigh, NC. While veterinary medicine had always been on his mind, it wasn't until then that he had realized it was the career he wanted to pursue. In 2015, Nick graduated from NC State with a major in Zoology and minor in Entomology. He continued his education, graduating from the NC State University College of Veterinary Medicine in 2019. After earning his DVM degree, Nick promptly moved to beautiful Miami, FL. 

While in veterinary school, Nick developed a deep appreciation for end of life care and has always hoped to help families with these very kind, yet difficult decisions. For this reason, joining the Lap of Love family was a perfect opportunity for Nick. Outside of pets and veterinary medicine, Nick enjoys being outdoors, working out, breweries, zoos and aquariums, art, video games, and getting tattoos and piercings.

Nicole Haines

Nicole was born and raised in Pennsylvania. Though she has missed her native Philadelphia, she was happy to trade in her snow boots for flip flops when she moved to Atlanta, GA six years ago. After years as a social worker and administrator in long-term care,  Nicole was called to dedicate more of her life to her passion - animals.

Growing up surrounded by dogs, they have always been a part of her family and she cannot imagine her life without them. Nicole has an undying love and connection with all animals, she is a passionate vegan and hopes to have a small farm sanctuary someday. 

In her previous experience, Nicole has owned and managed her own pet care company. She has also worn many hats in animal rescue for both a private humane society and municipal animal control. She was honored with the opportunity to combine her compassion for people and her love of pets in a role that values the sacred human-animal bond. In 2019 she joined the Lap of Love family. 

Nicole shares her life with her loving wife, Jodi, and their three dogs; Sprout, Bella, and Nugget. If you stop by her place, don’t be surprised to find four, five or more pups greeting you. Nicole fosters for her local rescue and pet sits senior fur pals. When she is not helping animals and the people who love them, Nicole can be found gardening, running, crafting, volunteering at the shelter or preparing homemade vegan goodies. 

Paola Angarita

Paola was born in Chicago, IL and raised both in South Florida and Medellin, Colombia. She has been with her husband since 2007 and has 2 beautiful Children Adrian & Arabella. At a very young age, she found happiness in ensuring that those around her were always taken care of. This included animals of all shapes and sizes. She often scared her mother with all the critters she would bring back home. Paola had always dreamed of working with animals. When she met Dr. Mary Gardner in 2009 and had the opportunity to work closely with her, she learned more than she ever thought possible. She spent several years as a foster mommy, helping to place many furry babies in new homes. One of those babies found a forever home with her family. Her name was Rose, and she was a 3-year-old Pitt bull; they quickly formed a strong bond. In 2012 Paola lost Rose unexpectedly. Dr. Gardner and Lap of Love helped Paola during this difficult time, and she never forgot what a difference Lap of Love made. 

After her experience with Rose, she knew that she would love to one day be a part of such an amazing and compassionate team so she too could help families during this transition. In 2018 Paola relocated to Tampa to join Lap of love. She is honored to be able to help other families, as Lap of Love once did for her. 

Rachel Jones

Rachel was born in Newport News, Virginia. Her family moved to Atlanta, Georgia when she was 13 years old. Rachel obtained her Associate’s in Applied Science in Veterinary Technology from Gwinnett Technical College in 2003, and worked as an RVT primarily in a small animal clinic while in Georgia. Rachel, her husband, and newborn (at the time) son moved to Tampa, Florida in 2011, where her husband is originally from. Rachel first heard about Lap of Love working at a clinic in Tampa, and later, from fellow employees. Rachel decided she wanted to make a positive impact in the lives of fellow pet parents. Rachel has 2 dogs - Louie and Scruffy, and 1 cat - Zelda.

Rebecca Goldstein

Rebecca spent her childhood in Long Island, New York before moving to Florida in 2013. Growing up, her mother was a certified Veterinary Technician. Rebecca often spent her time in animal hospitals. She was so moved by the human-animal bond, she set her mind on becoming a veterinarian. Currently, she is working to complete her undergraduate degree. 

Rebeccafirst learned about Lap of Love when she met Dr. Dani, and saw her passion for helping pets and the people that love them. 
After her meeting, she decided she wanted to join the team so she could help families come together in such a hard part of life.

Rose Wyatt

Growing up as the daughter of an army soldier Rose’s family moved very frequently. At a young age, while stationed in Germany, she got her first family dog named Becky. She was a chow/lab mix and they all fell in love. Becky followed her family back to the states where they acquired several other pets including hamsters and a rabbit. Becky lived a long and beautiful life in which she was very much loved when she passed away at the age of 16. Shortly after she lost her sweet girl Rose moved to Tampa for college where she adopted her two babies Vito, a Chihuahua, and Layla, a rat terrier. They are the light of her day!

Rose attended the University of South Florida where she graduated with a bachelor’s degree in psychology, emphasis on clinical psychology and research methods. Rose loved clinical psychology for the ability to comfort and ease someone in distress. She feels that this background significantly impacts her understanding and compassion for families with geriatric or ailing pets. Her love for animals has always been a huge part of her, and with Lap of Love she is able to combine a love for animals with grief counseling and comforting families. Rose feels it is an honor and a privilege to work with the Lap of Love veterinarians. They amaze her every day with their compassion and nurturing spirits.

Shanan Runyan

Shanan was born and raised in South Florida. She has worked as a Veterinary Technician, both for a mobile vaccine clinic and a non-profit organization. In addition to her passion for animals, Shanan has a great appreciation for the outdoors and enjoys hiking and taking adventures in nature. She stays active through practicing yoga, and more recently with Acrobalancing. Her creativity extends to designing and making handbags. Shanan is also a certified Esthetician.

A dedicated and vigilant cat mom, she has three rescue girls named Kali, Molly, and Squee. Her beloved kitty boy Boots, whom her family rescued from a local park and who had her heart from the moment her mother placed him on her chest, passed away after a good life of 16 years in 2013. His passing gave Shanan a better appreciation for the heartbreak that families experience when losing their pets.

Sharon Weatherspoon, DVM

Born and raised in Shaker Heights, Ohio, Sharon attended Hampton University for her undergraduate degree, and double majored in Public Relations and Business Management. She continued her educational pursuit at Tuskegee University where she received her Master’s of Science in Food and Nutritional Science. She continued her Doctoral education at Tuskegee University and graduated as a veterinarian.

Sharon wanted to become a veterinarian for as long as she could remember. Her parents did not want a pet, and so she was not allowed to bring any into the home. Every Christmas and birthday that passed, she begged for a little furry friend. She received every stuffed animal money could buy, her parents even going as far as to give her a toy dog to walk and feed. Although her parents tried everything to appease the desire, they finally realized their antics weren’t working. Eventually, she was told if she received straight A’s, she could get a dog. 

Report card, after report card went by and she would get A’s with that one dreaded B. After YEARS of just falling short, she made it to the state science fair. Sharon’s parents were so proud of her finishing in the top 3 that they finally caved and allowed her to get a dog.

She was elated! Skye was adopted from the humane society. She was Sharon’s life and was loved with all her heart. It was then that Sharon knew she had to become a vet. She knew it was her calling to make sure Skye never felt pain, and if she ever got sick, to be there to make her feel better like she did so many times for her human. It is Sharon’s firm belief that helping animals is not just a passion it is also a blessing.

Shelby Hite

Shelby was born and raised in Florida. She has always enjoyed the company of animals. She knew that her future would lead her to become a veterinarian or a teacher. During high school, she volunteered at her local humane society. Shortly after graduating high school, she began working in animal clinics while also attending a local college. Before graduating with a Bachelor’s Degree in Early Childhood Education, she began in a position at a major research hospital. After expanding her experience, she felt called to help animals in a more fulfilling role.

In 2019, Shelby joined the Lap of Love team so that she could go back to doing what she loved most; educating and helping people who also love animals.

She currently lives with her cats (Beez, Never Clear, and Sylvie), dog (Sheska), chinchillas (Beaker, Bunsen, and Bachner), and axolotl (Ghoul). When she is not spending time with her small zoo, she can be found reading, submerging in all things international travel, and opossums.

Shelley Furne

Shelley grew up on Vancouver Island, Canada and moved to the States when she married the love of her life Kory. Shelley has lived in Florida for the last 5 years and is proud to call Tampa her home. She has a beautiful German Shepherd named Deja that she loves fiercely and was rescued in 2015. After working in a law office and lending company, she found her passion working with animals. Shelley has lived and worked in animal hospitals located in California, Maryland, and Florida. She first discovered Lap of Love when she had to make that painful decision to say goodbye to her Siamese kitty Sam in 2014. Shelley was struck with how compassionate and loving each person that she came into contact with was. She is so grateful to pay that kindness forward to other families who are struggling to make the same decision.

Steph Clemmons

Steph was born in Zionsville, Indiana, to a wonderful family that taught her from day one, that all living creatures deserve the same love and respect as any human. Her childhood memories are full of family pets, and critters she discovered in the woods. Naturally, she found her heart was happiest when she was with animals. 


At the age of six, she began riding and showing horses and continues to enjoy that hobby on her little farm. She shares her country utopia with her supportive and loving husband, Bill, by her side. Their lives are enriched by a small menagerie of animals including dogs, cats, horses and chickens (and possibly goats if Bill gets his way). 


Thriving as a veterinary assistant from 2003-2019, Steph found her true calling in end-of-life care and support for pets and their families. After learning about Lap of Love and the much needed, loving services they provide, she knew this was where she belonged.

Stephanie Evans

Stephanie was born and raised in Georgia and lives outside of Atlanta with her husband Eddie and their fur babies. She is the proud dog mom of three amazing dogs who are center of her world; a Pomeranian, Dolce, a Doberman, Odin and a Yokie/Maltese mix, Stella. Growing up she learned what it truly meant to love all animals and personally knows how difficult and heartbreaking it is to make the decision to say goodbye to a part of your family. Stephanie had always hoped to find a way to express her passion for animals in a way that would benefit them and their loving families. So when she was offered a position at Lap of Love in 2017, she followed her dream and jumped at the opportunity, leaving her career in International Logistics behind. She is blessed to help bring peace to families who are suffering and is inspired daily by the passionate individuals whom she works with. 

Stephen Eakes

Stephen was born and raised in a small town in North Carolina, where his mother ran an in home daycare. Even though Stephen had many playmates and friends, he found himself drawn to, and fascinated by, all of the wonderful pets his parents allowed him to have growing up. From iguanas to snakes, birds, dogs, and cats, Stephen found comfort and love from his little best-buddies. All of this led Stephen to start working at age 14 with the local pet shop and groomer. As Stephen started high school he landed a great job with a Veterinarian who took him under her wing. When Stephen stumbled upon Lap of Love, he knew this was where he could best use his skills and support families in their ultimate time of need. Stephen is very excited to be able to work for such a compassionate company that allows him the opportunity to help pet parents, and hold their hand through such a heart-breaking time in their lives.

Tiffany Langley

Tiffany was raised in Charleston SC and found her way to Seattle in 2009 where she started her career in veterinary medicine. Her career has included extensive work in rescue and fostering (particularly for dachshund rescues!). She moved to sunny Florida in September 2017 with her three dachshunds Reese, Dixie, and Rufus. In December she added a puppy, Marvin, to her pack. She enjoys spending her free time with family and friends soaking up the sun at local beaches and working on training and certifications with Marvin. Tiffany joined the Lap of Love family in 2018 to help others with a more peaceful alternative and hopes to bring some comfort in a difficult time.

Tina Hatin

Valerie Robbins-Gardner

Valerie has been with Lap of Love since 2011.  She is a huge family, friends and animal lover.  Her personal motto is “Pets are family too, they make us better people.”  Her interests are happiness, smiling daily, positive thinking and gratitude for each breath she takes.  Her hobbies include her kids (fur included) and her “hubby.”  Her social life is their social life.

Vicki Baum

Vicki moved to Florida from her hometown in Olney, Maryland in 2017 to be closer to her family. She is owned by her Newfoundland, Gracie and her Cockapoo, Bella who joined her family in 2010. Her hobbies include spending time with her family, bike riding, kayaking, and the beach. 

After graduating from the University of Maryland with associates degrees in both Business Administration and Accounting, Vicki's lifetime love of animals led her to become a Veterinary Technician in 2007. She spent 7 years in clinical practice, then transitioned into clinical management and finance for an additional 2 years.

Vicki found the Lap of Love organization when she was in need of the amazing services we offer. After years of experience dealing with families during the loss of their beloved pets, Vicki knew this was the place where she could utilize her vast experience with love and compassion to help others.