Support Center of Lap of Love

  (855) 933-5683

  [email protected]

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. 

Acacia Blair

Acacia was born and raised in sunny San Diego, CA and relocated to beautiful Durham, North Carolina in 2020. She lives with her husband, Jordan and their two rescued dogs: Yoshi, the one-eyed chihuahua and Harold, a sweet beagle.

In 2014, Acacia started her career in Animal Welfare at the San Diego Humane Society, working her way from Guest Relations Associate to the Admissions Supervisor. During her time at SDHS, she became a member of the Emergency Response Team and participated with animal hoarding cases, wildfire evacuations, and even being deployed to Texas and Florida for Hurricane Irma relief. After leaving the shelter world and moving to North Carolina, Acacia found an opportunity at Lap of Love. She values the time she gets to spend talking with other animal lovers who share the same compassion for their furry loved ones as much she does.

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. 

Alisa Hutchinson

Alisa was born and raised in Tampa, Florida. Starting from a young age, she has never experienced a day without the love of her fur babies. She grew up admiring her grandmother and Aunt who both shared a passion for working in veterinary medicine.

In high school, she earned her first job at a kennel in the local veterinary office. Unexpectedly, this first job with animals changed her life. She then spent the next six years dedicated to her role aiding in veterinary medicine. Although she began by volunteering and kennel work, with time and experience, she was trained to be a veterinary technician, as well as a surgical technician. Each position has led to her passion for helping animals grow stronger.

A few years ago, Alisa’s co-worker told her about a puppy who had been neglected and was in need of a home; without hesitation she knew she had the perfect home for her. Since then, her and rescue puppy Hulk have been inseparable. In 2021, she was introduced to Lap of Love and is honored to continue to help families receive the quality veterinary services they deserve.

Amanda Baxter

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 Cummins

Amanda grew up in rural Texas, where her family and pets were the center of her life. She remained passionate about animals of all kinds from an early age, and this remains true today. 

Amanda followed her dreams of helping animals by volunteering with wildlife rehabilitators and animal rescue groups. In 2010, she became a veterinary technician with a strong interest in critical care. With a greater level of experience, she took on the role of Head Veterinary Technician at a four-doctor hospital in 2012 where she later became a practice manager in 2016. While working with clients she had known for years, Amanda developed a strong interest in helping them cope with their pets’ complex illnesses. 

In October of 2019, Amanda was elated to join Lap of Love as a Veterinary Care Coordinator. She enjoys talking with clients and supporting the strong bond they share with their pets. Amanda has beloved pets of her own: dogs, cats, and a funny African Grey parrot that she inherited. She has a love of writing and nature photography. Amanda graduates with her Bachelor of Science in Technical Writing in fall of 2020. She plans to use this education to improve in her current role and volunteer as a content writer for rescue groups.

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.  

Bailey Campbell

Bailey was born and raised in Texas. She has lived all across the DFW in her adult life. Bailey has had a strong love for animals since she was a child, even going as far as taming a feral cat in her grandmother’s backyard to come to the door for brushing when she was four years old.

Bailey got her start in the veterinary field working in doggie daycare. After that, she was hooked. Bailey made it her goal to gain as much knowledge about the veterinary world as possible. It was most recently while working for a veterinary surgeon that Bailey realized she had a passion for helping families navigate tough and stressful situations.

When Bailey heard about Lap of Love, she knew right away it was a team she wanted to be a part of. Bailey feels so appreciative that she is able to help and provide a listening ear for families that are going through the loss of a sweet loved one. During her free time, Bailey enjoys reading, and spending time with her fiancé Sterling, and their 2 dogs and 2 cats. 

Becca Nyland

Becca grew up traveling the world with her family and found her love of animals along the way. From volunteering with aquariums to working in adoption shelters and wildlife rehabilitation centers her passion to help animals only grew.

Graduating from Texas A & M University in 2013, she made the big leap across the Gulf of Mexico to work as a biologist in sunny Clearwater, FL where she met her husband and rescued her furry companion, Bolt. The three enjoy snacking, napping, and any outdoor adventures.

Happily welcomed into the Lap of Love Family in August, 2020 and honored to help!

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.

Brie Oliver

Brie was born and raised in Tampa, Florida. She grew up enjoying the sunshine and going on outdoor adventures with her family and furry companions. Brie is a full time student, concentrating in the study of Business Management and Human Resources. She has always shared a loving home with both dogs and cats as furry family members. She believes in compassion and dedication to pet families and a peaceful end of life journey. Lap of Love allows her the honor of helping humans and animals alike, because pets are family.  

Brittany Johnson

Brittany grew up in Dallas, Texas with her parents, four siblings, and various beloved pets, including but not limited to five dogs, two ducks, six cats, three rabbits, and four parakeets, just to name a few. After graduating with her B.S. in Psychology from Abilene Christian University in 2014, Brittany moved to Orlando, Florida to fulfill her lifelong dream of working at Walt Disney World, where she still works 9 years later!  Today, she and her wonderful husband share their happy home with their two incredible pups, Millie and Luna.

Although she loves her magical world of Disney, she needed a place to go where she could combine her passion for animals with her desire to connect with and comfort people in their time of need. When she heard about Lap of Love's compassion, integrity, and their incredible mission to assist pets and their families in the end of life journey, she knew she found a place to belong. Being able to provide comfort to our Lap of Love families has proven to be extremely fulfilling in a way she never knew was possible.

Brittney Lima

Brittney is a lifelong lover of animals; growing up with dogs, cats, ferrets, birds, reptiles, rodents, goats, and horses. Brittney became a Veterinary Technician in 2012 and began fostering for local animal rescue groups that same year. Brittney has fostered over 50 animals, focusing on fostering pets that are labeled "unadoptable" for health and behavioral issues. She loves spending time with her husband, children, and two special needs "forever foster" dogs. End of life care has always been very special to Brittney and she feels honored to help families through such a difficult time. 

Carrie Abbad

Carrie grew up helping on her grandparent's farm in rural Arizona. She has always had at least one pet within the home and cannot imagine life without them. She spends her time with her husband, two dogs, Sprout and Bilbo, and two cats, Night Fury and Draco Malfoy. Carrie also loves to travel and spend her free time outdoors.

After receiving her Bachelor's in Education, Carrie worked within the Zoo Education field for 6 years, allowing her to combine her passions for helping others in her community and working with animals. She then continued her education by receiving a Master's in Biology. After learning about Lap of Love in the fall of 2020, she felt that it would be a great next step in her career that aligned with her personal interests as well. She is excited to be a part of this organization and assist with helping families receive quality and compassionate veterinary services.

Chloe Raynes

Florida has always been home for Chloe, although she is originally from Belgium. Sunshine and beach days won her over at a young age. Chloe graduated from USF with a Bachelors in Education. She spent many years in the classroom teaching an array of students but found her passion for animals when she began working in rescue. After teaching, she entered the animal world by owning and managing a doggy daycare, boarding, and grooming facility.

Chloe has been rescuing and rehabilitating neglected animals since 2010. Taking rescue to the next level, she has completed FEMA training in Small Animal Emergency Shelters and is qualified to deploy after a natural disaster. 

Her strong belief in every pet deserving to have a peaceful and loving goodbye was ever-present after she had to say goodbye to her heart-dog, Daphne in the emergency room. 

When she was not able to utilize Lap of Love for her dear Daphne, Chloe felt her calling to become a part of the Lap of Love family and to help every pet know they are loved and not alone, especially during those final moments. 

Along with her boyfriend, four dogs, and two cats, Chloe continues to foster fur babies in need of a loving home!

Christiana Davis

Christiana is from Florida’s east coast where she grew up with a love of animals by volunteering with her mother to raise and train future service dogs. She's also always had a passion for helping people and has actively volunteered throughout her life. Christiana obtained her bachelor’s degree in Human Services from the University of Florida in 2014. She then moved to the ever-evolving Atlanta, Georgia in 2017, where she now resides with her fiancé and their two rescue dogs, Leo and Troy. 

Her pets have had several foster-brothers and sisters throughout their lives, as Christiana has a soft spot for strays.  After working several years in the optical service industry as an office manager, she realized she had to follow her passion for bereavement support and end-of-life care. She is an active volunteer with a local bereavement support camp and she earned her Professional Certificate as an End-of-Life Doula/Coordinator in 2020. She has always sought to be part of a mission greater than herself, and that is where she found a home at Lap of Love. She knew what a rewarding opportunity it would be to ensure that people and their furry family are taken care of with the utmost compassion and competency. 

Christina Disla

Christina is originally from New York City, but has lived in Celebration, Florida since 2007. She originally moved to Central Florida to pursue a career at Walt Disney World and worked for the company for more than 13 years in various roles. She has an extensive background in delivering exceptional customer service. Christina has a degree in Vocal Performance from NYU and performs locally at various Orlando theaters. Her favorite show experience has been performing as a Gargoyle in the Hunchback of Notre Dame at the Garden Theater in Winter Garden.

Christina came across Lap of Love when her 13 year old poodle Oscar was in need of end of life care. She was so impressed with the love and compassion that Oscar received during his time of need. So much so that she felt inspired to apply for a position with this company that had touched her heart in such a big way. She is honored to now be a member of the Lap of Love family. Christina is a single dog Mom to a 14 year old poodle named Jolie.  She loves her fur babies dearly and is hoping to bring a sweet puppy home soon as a new addition to the family. 

Christy Freeze

Christy was born and raised in Manchester, TN and currently calls Nashville, TN home.  She was always surrounded by family pets and wildlife alike.  She vividly recalls her mother taking in strays and her father, who was a fireman,  always bringing home injured wildlife.  She has always had a special bond with all animals since she can remember.

Christy has always worked in the animal field in various types of capacity.  Some of those include: wildlife rehabilitation, shelter medicine, and spay/neuter education.  Christy believes in compassion for pets and families and the importance of honoring the human-animal bond.

Cindy 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.

Courtney Curreri

Courtney found her true love for helping animals at the age of 12 after her grandparents took her on a summer trip to volunteer at Best Friends Animal Sanctuary in Kanab, Utah.  Since then she has been volunteering and working with shelters by bottle-feeding neonatal kittens, assisting TNR (Trap-Neuter-Return) programs, conducting behavior & medical evaluations and being an active member of the San Diego Humane Society's Emergency Response Team.  She has a special place in her heart for the special needs and senior animals as she has 2 senior dogs and a 3 legged kitty in her family of 4 animals.

In 2011 she graduated from Animal Behavior College, which lead her to train service dogs for Wounded Warriors with PTSD and children on the autism spectrum.  After attending Karen Pryor Academy in 2013, she returned to Animal Welfare and worked at the San Diego Humane Society for 5 years.  It was there that she found her passion for helping both animals and humans during the end of life process while acting as a Senior Euthanasia Technician and Admissions Counselor for 3 years.  In 2019, Courtney was beyond grateful to find Lap of Love during her move from Southern California to Colorado so she could continue to do work that is so meaningful and important to her. 

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.

Courtney Richardson

Ever since Courtney could remember, she always wanted to work with animals and pursue her career in veterinary medicine. Courtney received her AAS of Veterinary Science, with Honors, at Bergen College. She has worked in research, general practice, specialty, and emergency medicine. Courtney is passionate about being able to help guide families through challenging times and advocate for their loved ones. Courtney finds it cathartic and therapeutic to talk with the families through the end-of-life process.

In 2019, Courtney moved to Charlotte, North Carolina, to grow her family. She is originally from New Jersey but also lived in Florida, where she met her husband, Brian, while they worked together at Walt Disney World. Courtney’s energetic son, Theo, is her whole world. In her free time, Courtney loves to eat, drink, and travel, especially back to what she considers her second home, Disney. Courtney’s other passion is sleep, which brought her to become a Certified Pediatric Sleep Specialist. She lives for spoiling her fur baby crew, @the.lazy.lemon.squad which includes her dogs, Emmitt (Smith), Bernie (Williams), and Tequila, and her cats (John) Cena, Enzo (Amore), and Dwayne (“The Rock” Johnson). 

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. 

Dana Rine

Dana officially began working with animals by volunteering and fostering dogs for a nonprofit rescue in 2014, though her interest in companion animals dates to her childhood. She joined Lap of Love in 2017. Her heart has always been for senior pets, and she considers this time in geriatric veterinary medicine a continuation of her animal advocacy efforts. Dana earned a Master of Arts degree in English and has taught university courses in literature and writing. Her hobbies include photography and travel. She is happily married and has four adorable rescue dogs. While the circumstances in which families reach out to the Support Center are often very sad, Dana is honored to help families whose pets mean everything to them. This work has increased her valuation of quality of life, both at work and at home.   

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. 

Deanna Musso

Deanna was born and raised in Central Florida. Ever since she was a young girl, she had a passion for animals. She would bring home all types of creatures because she thought they needed a loving home. Her mother didn't always agree, especially when they had scales or hopped on four legs! To this day, Deanna and her husband have 5 fur-babies of their own! Cash (Pitbull mix), Rue (English pointer), Annie (Pitbull mix), Kanga, (Chihuahua), and Divot (Chihuahua).

She was destined for a career with animals. It all started when she acted as a doggie camp counselor and then grew into working in the veterinary field. She is most passionate about veterinary shelter medicine as she adores helping animals in need. She worked in the shelter environment from 2014 until 2020 when she received an amazing opportunity to join the Lap of Love family. She is honored to be a part of such an incredible company, where the families and loved ones are cherished.  

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 dog fighting cases, and an animal cruelty 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.

Dona Corbett

Dona was born and raised in Stuart, Florida and received her degree in Veterinary Technology from St. Petersburg College in 2001. Her veterinary experience began in 1993 when she worked at a rehab facility for birds of prey. She later moved on to positions in small animal emergency and critical care as well as in general practice.

Early in her career, Dona realized she was interested in helping not just animals, but the people who loved them. Although she greatly enjoyed the medical aspect of her job, she was especially drawn to being there for grieving pet lovers who were experiencing the end of life journey with their beloved pet.  

While at a veterinary conference, Dona learned about Lap of Love and quickly signed up for all the lectures being offered.  As Dr. Dani McVety and Dr. Mary Gardner spoke, it was clear that the Lap of Love philosophy and mission resonated perfectly with what had been in Dona’s heart for so long.  For many years, she guided friends, clients, and colleagues to Lap of Love, and at last, in 2019, she joined the wonderful organization.

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.

Ebony Cothren

Ebony has always been incredibly inspired by the compassion and kindness that Lap of Love provides to families in need. Because of this, she has always desired to become a part of the Lap of Love family. Throughout the years, Ebony has been heavily involved in Veterinary Medicine. She has played the role of a Veterinary Technician, Kennel Attendant, and Veterinary Receptionist. In her free time, Ebony enjoys hiking, painting, and spending time with her partner and her cats- Potato and Zen.  

Elizabeth Irwin

Born and raised in Western Kentucky, Elizabeth knew she was destined for two things; to live near the ocean and to make a difference in the lives of animals. After completing a degree in Surgical Technology, Elizabeth followed her heart and returned to the veterinary care field while living in Asheville, NC. After moving to the Tallahassee area in late 2019, Elizabeth was given the opportunity to become part of the Lap of Love family where she feels honored to use her skills assisting pet parents through difficult times. When she's not working, you can find her making glass art creations in her kiln, upcycling furniture, being a beach bum or spending time with her husband and their furry family members; 2 rescue dogs (Sherpa & Angus), cat (Flufferton) and 5 hens (Dorothy, Rose, Blanche, Sophia & Dolly Parton). 

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. 

Faviola Collazo

Faviola was raised in the tropical waters of Puerto Rico. She grew up watching Steve Irwin's tv shows, which molded her love and curiosity for all sorts of animals. Her house was always full of animals, whether it was birds, dogs, bunnies, hamsters, cats or fish. Her love for animals grew stronger, especially for those in the ocean. In 2017, Faviola became scuba certified, which allowed her to explore all types of underwater ecosystems and marine animals. Faviola's connection to the ocean also brought her to practice the sport of kiteboarding, which led her to represent Puerto Rico in China, the Dominican Republic, and Italy in 2018. Faviola's two favorite hobbies are still kiteboarding and scuba diving.

Faviola always knew she wanted to study in an animal-related field. Her dream is to attend veterinary school and become a veterinarian. Looking to gain experience, Faviola came across Lap of Love and was instantly captivated by their mission to deliver a peaceful end of life experience for the pets and families. Faviola knew there was no better experience than helping those who share a deep love for animals the same way she does.

Floria Pena

Floria was born and raised in Orangeburg, South Carolina, where her family supported her innate love for animals. After completing high school, she obtained a Bachelor of Science degree in Animal and Veterinary Sciences from Clemson University. Then, she moved to Charlotte, North Carolina to begin her career in the veterinary industry. For almost 10 years, Floria has worked as a Surgery Veterinary Assistant and Veterinary Client Service Coordinator at general, emergency, critical care, and specialty facilities. However, an unforeseen health condition forced her to explore changing career paths.

Due to the fear of possibly no longer being able to serve pets and their families, she was elated to discover Lap of Love. She fell in love with the organization and its values; and on her birthday, January 13, 2021, she was extended the offer to join the Lap of Love family as a Veterinary Care Coordinator. After surviving the various difficulties of 2020, it was undoubtedly one of the best gifts and an incredible start to a new year! Throughout her in-clinic veterinary career, Floria found honor in being able to comfort and support families during their fur family members’ end-of-life processes. In joining Lap of Love, Floria looks forward to focusing on this incredibly vital aspect of veterinary care. Hopefully, her knowledge, love, compassion, and empathy will aid more families in making their companions’ final moments both beautiful and peaceful.

Floria is a proud mom to two incredibly sweet rescues: Nelson (Domestic Shorthair) and Beau (Terrier Mix). In her free time, she loves snuggling with her fur babies, hiking, fishing, kayaking, and traveling the globe to learn more about different cultures and cuisines. She is also an aspiring minimalist who wholeheartedly values life experiences over materialistic possessions.

Haley Smith

Haley spent her childhood relocating to various places. In 2012, she circled back home to Central Florida. At the young age of 15 years old, Haley discovered her love and passion for helping animals and their people. She began her career in Veterinary medicine by working at a private practice in Goldsboro, NC. She has since worked at multiple charitable animal clinics. Haley found her true calling when she heard about Lap of Love and the compassionate care they provide for families. She leaped at the opportunity to join the Lap of Love family in 2019.

Haley has 3 children, one fur-child named Eugene, sick and less than a week old when abandoned at her previous place of employment, and two fur-less children named Chandler and Cooper. She enjoys spending time with them and her husband, Chance. When not working or attending school full-time, she enjoys visiting with her granny whom she shares a birthday with, traveling, painting, and volunteering at local non-profit veterinary clinics.

Harley Petsel

Harley was born and raised in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, where she currently resides with her husband Aaron and their two pets, Gambino and Oreo. Her hobbies include spending time out in nature, hiking and kayaking, as well as spending time indoors: building computers and playing video games.

Since coming from a family of human nurses, Harley’s love of animals led her towards a similar career, but with a twist! She attended the Vet Tech Institute of Pittsburgh, where she graduated in 2014, and took her boards to become a Certified Veterinary Technician. During her years in general practice, she discovered a passion for helping, not only the animals under her care, but the families who love them as well. Providing both comfort and compassion to pets and people during end-of-life care as well as turning a difficult moment into a celebration of life became one of her favorite aspects of the job. After losing her own beloved Rottweiler to cancer, she found her calling at Lap of Love to help guide families through this as well.  

Isabelle Dickson

Isabelle was born in Sydney, Australia and grew up in the beach side regional city of Cairns. Being surrounded by ancient rainforests and coral reefs, she developed a love for nature and animals at a young age. Growing up she owned horses, cats, dogs, birds, turtles, and snakes. She started working in a small animal clinic in 2014 while she was completing her Veterinary Nursing qualification. In 2016, she graduated with a Certificate IV in Veterinary Nursing through Open Colleges (North Coast TAFE).

In 2017, Isabelle relocated to Southern Ohio, where she now resides with her husband and their beloved rescue beagle, Luna. She found one of the most rewarding aspects of working in a Veterinary clinic was comforting and supporting pet parents during difficult times. When Isabelle found Lap of Love, she knew this would be the perfect position! She could utilize her previous Veterinary clinic experience, in a way that would make a positive impact in the lives of pets and their parents.

Jen Bettinger

Jennifer grew up in Michigan and has made Ohio her home since 1997. In 2006, she followed her passion for pets by starting The Daily Dog, a local business that provided daily dog walking and vacation pet care for hundreds of clients for more than a decade.

After taking a break from the pet care industry to raise her daughters, she found Lap Of Love in 2020 and knew this was the opportunity she had been waiting for. Jennifer loves helping people and knows the importance of peaceful end of life care for our pets. Jennifer enjoys spending time with her daughters, photography, and nature. She has volunteered with pet rescues and has had many pets throughout her life. She currently shares her home with her dog and three cats.

Jennifer Steiner

Jennifer was born and raised in Buffalo, New York, where her early professional career centered around her Media / Communications Degree. After spending several years working for her hometown professional hockey team and for a private investigator, she and her husband Josh decided to escape the snow and headed south to sunny Orlando in 2012. Following the move,  they continued to add to their family and are currently outnumbered by their fur pets, including three dogs (Beesly, Halpert, and Smush) and three rats (Bug, Ratticus Finch, and Elphaba).

It was also in Florida that Jennifer's love for animals pointed her back in the direction of the veterinary field, and she worked both as a kennel technician and veterinary assistant before finally returning to school to pursue her veterinary nursing certification, which she obtained in May 2019. While treating veterinary patients remains a passion of hers,  Jennifer was drawn to Lap of Love after identifying a growing need for client education regarding geriatric and hospice care, as well as end-of-life services. In addition to her work and spending time with her family, Jennifer also enjoys pet photography, creative writing, and cheering on her hometown football and hockey teams. 

Jesseca Thompkins

Jesseca moved from The Bahamas in 2011 to Texas seeking a new life and opportunity. She has always had a love for animals. Since being a young girl,  her dream was always to work with the furry ones (and even the non-furry ones). She often fed the stray dogs in the neighborhood and it was not uncommon for her to have at least 5 dogs following her around. It was then that she realized she wanted no creature to suffer.  She has worked in the veterinary field for over 10 years in various positions. She has had the chance to work with exotics and small animals. With her well-rounded experience, she has acquired a soft spot for the rescue pets that need the most love as her heart is as big as Texas. 

Jesseca lives with her partner, Tiffany, and is owned by 4 loving dogs: Hattie Pattie, Crios, Piper, and Turtle. When she is not devoting her time to her fur babies, she is painting, spending time outdoors; with her chickens, or enjoying nature. She was called to join Lap of Love in 2019 after working in an Emergency and Specialty Hospital where she watched so many owners give their all to their beloved fur babies. From there, Jesseca advocated for the ones suffering and wanted to make sure that she could do her part in helping families through the most difficult decision they would have to make for their loved ones.

Jessica Bowers

Jessica was born and raised near Madison, Wisconsin. She moved to Kentucky in 2012, to seek a new adventure while the rest of her family moved to Florida. Her childhood dreams came true when she started working at a veterinary clinic. After adopting a few of her foster pets along the way, Jessica graduated from Eastern Kentucky University with her BS in General Biology. While she loved her work in the clinic, she wanted to find a way to direct her passion towards helping pet families through their loved one’s end of life journey. After hearing such positive feedback from pet parents who had reached out to Lap of Love, Jessica knew this was the organization she wanted to be a part of.

At the end of 2019, Jessica joined the Lap of Love family and moved to Denver, Colorado with her fur kids. She has a rescue dog named Wrigley who found her at just the right time when she suddenly lost her first dog to cancer. Wrigley was found emaciated with severe mange, open wounds, and little to no hair. With a heart of gold, all Wrigley wanted was to be loved. His character and soul helped both Jessica and her other dog, Nahla, heal after a tough loss. She also has a cat named Quinn who prefers to be the star of the show. When Jessica is not doting over her furry children, she can be found exploring outdoor adventures, reading, photography, painting, and visiting her family in southern Florida as often as she can. 

Joshua Figg

Joshua was born and raised in the Central Coast of California just around the corner from the Pacific Ocean.  Growing up alongside everything from miniature pigs to peacocks, he developed a strong passion for animals of all varieties.  This passion for animals led him to pursue and graduate Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo with a B.S. of Animal Science. In 2019 he transplanted to Central Florida taking a position with Disney's Animal Kingdom Nutrition Center. However, inspired and guided by life events, Joshua searched for opportunities to support and engage with pet families. He feels lucky to have stumbled across the chance to work at Lap of Love and is honored to support and assist pet families in their time of need.  As a dog dad himself, Joshua spends most of his time on adventures with Penny, an Australian Shepherd.  He is also a lover of sunsets and he’s usually off admiring the beautiful display of a day ending. He can often be found cooking, practicing photography, or reading as well. 

Kami Woehr

Kami was born and raised in Florida.  In 2009 she left a career in horse training and joined the veterinary field as a receptionist.  After 10 years in the veterinary field, she opted for a change to human medicine. She worked a brief 5 months at a cardiology center before realizing her heart and soul belonged in veterinary medicine with pets and their pet parents.  This led her to join Lap of Love in 2020. 

In her spare time, Kami still devotes herself to her personal horse and donkey. She also takes pride in training her dogs in agility and scent tracking and relaxes at the end of each day with power yoga.   

Kara Mayernik

Kara has a small farm in southern Illinois, where she shares life with her handsome husband and two perfect little boys. The farm is run by dairy goats, chickens, barn cats, and a couple of dogs. She has a true love for horses and hopes to one day fill their vacancy (in her heart and farm!).  

Kara is incredibly passionate about animals and has been since she was a very young child. This love for the four-legged paved her animal care career path. She has been a Veterinary Technician for 10 years. Her experience includes general practice, intensive care, emergency, and large animal medicine. 

She is also passionate about people and helping however she can. She was drawn to end of life care because of her passion for the human-animal bond, as well as providing a service that ends suffering for loved ones.

After hearing about Lap of Love’s family-oriented atmosphere, coupled with providing a service that is often under-emphasized and very much needed in the veterinary community, she knew she had found her new home. Lap of Love allows Kara to fulfill her passions in life, all while getting a front-row seat to watch her little ones grow. 

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. 

Kelli Haskins

Kelli was born and raised in Colorado, where she still lives today with no plans to ever relocate. Kelli began her veterinary career in 2014 with Banfield, where she worked as a receptionist, technician, and practice manager. During her time at Banfield, Kelli found her passion in helping families navigate the end of life process with their fur babies. This passion for end of life care deepened in 2016 when she decided to adopt a senior dog named Max. Kelli's family had three wonderful years with Max, in which they dedicated their time to giving him the best golden years possible. Through a strong relationship with Max's primary veterinarian, they were able to provide Max with a beautiful and peaceful passing. This incredible experience led Kelli to leave clinic life and seek a career with Lap of Love where she can provide that same experience to other pets and their families.

Kelli has been married to her husband Chris since 2013 and they welcomed their son Carter into the world in 2014. She is an avid runner and spends all of her spare time outdoors. Together with her family and their two dogs, Denver and Ginger, she enjoys hiking, kayaking, paddleboarding, and fishing. She also has a bearded dragon named Spyro, who enjoys outdoors as well, but prefers to stick to the backyard. When the weather keeps the family inside, you will be sure to find Kelli watching a true-crime documentary or reading an Agatha Christie book. 

Kelly Cormier

Kelly grew up in Connecticut but now calls Georgia her home. She has always had a deep love for animals and spent over a decade of her career in Connecticut working in a veterinary hospital. Her pets are her children, and anyone that has met Kelly would not be surprised to see her pushing a little senior chihuahua in a stroller.  

Kelly has always had a deep respect for human-animal connections and has been honored throughout her career to support families through all stages of their pet’s lives. Having joined  Lap of Love in 2020, she is proud to be a part of such a genuine, caring group of people, where she is able to continue helping families with empathy, kindness, and understanding.

Kelly shares her home with her husband, Jason, their three dogs, Shammy, Ace, and Cubby, a cat named Sprinkle, Finch the tortoise, two chickens, and many memories of cherished pets watching over them all.

Kelly Wilson

Kelly was born and raised in Tampa Florida and loves the sunshine state.  She was the president and co-founder of Lost Angels Animal Rescue and has fostered and adopted out many dogs since 1999.  She currently specializes in older hospice dogs and shares her home with many.  She has three grandchildren, Gracie, Coleson and Cade and loves to spend as much time with them as possible.

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 Damron

Laurie found her love for animals when she moved from California to the Virgin Islands. After volunteering at the island's animal shelter, she started working for the local veterinarian. During her time there, she also had worked with animal shelters on the four different islands to help educate the community on animal welfare as well as assisting with getting cats and dogs adopted into homes in the United States.

While in the Virgin Islands, Laurie started a voluntourism program for tourists to spend time hiking with the shelter dogs in V.I. National Park and helped raise awareness for the need for adopters and escorts.

She now resides in Florida with her husband and her three dogs; a Rottweiler named Bomba, a Pitbull named Rasta, and a Boxer mix named Cuda. Each dog she rescued from a different island (St John, St Thomas, and Tortola). Laurie is honored to be working with Lap of Love and share her love of animals and compassion for people to help make such a difficult time a little easier. 

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. 

Lilly Shea

Lilly was born in Fitchburg, MA and grew up in North Texas. Her love for animals began at 3 years old when she spent time with her mother volunteering at a cat sanctuary. She spent much of her childhood sneaking in stray cats, dogs, and even a few baby birds along the way. 

In 2017, Lilly left retail management in search of something more rewarding. She began working in a local veterinary clinic where she enjoyed creating strong connections with clients and their pets. She always felt it was important to be a support system to them through every stage of their pets’ lives. 

When the opportunity to partake in the Lap of Love family became available, she knew it was the right fit for her. Lilly feels honored to be able to guide families during the difficult process of saying goodbye to their beloved companions. During her free time, Lilly enjoys spending time with her husband Travis and their dogs Biscuit the Corgi and Sunny the Lab/Husky Mix.

Lindsey Payne

Lindsey was born and raised in DFW, Texas. She has always had a proclivity for animals and wanted to care for as many as she could. 

She started her career as a Veterinary Technician in general practice. With more experience and knowledge, Lindsey went into specialty and emergency care, where she realized that she was able to help families during an extraordinarily difficult time. After having to lead her own beloved family dog over the rainbow bridge, she felt her calling to ensure the utmost peace for other pet families having to say goodbye. 

Lindsey is the proud mother of two very needy Australian Cattle Dogs; Remington, and Jinx. She enjoys cooking, writing fiction novels, and coffee. She is very excited to use her knowledge, compassion, and empathy to assist families in need.

Lisa Dinolov

Lisa joined Lap of Love in September of 2012. She has worked in veterinary medicine since 2002 and achieved a BAS in Veterinary Technology in 2010. She has renewed her State's CVT certification biannually since 2005. She returned to school after being accepted into an accelerated BSN program at the University of South Alabama College of Nursing. She graduated in 2015. She is presently licensed as a Registered Nurse. When families are faced with difficult decisions during end-of-life circumstances, Lisa feels so honored to be able to embrace and support them.  

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 a Certified/Licensed Veterinary Technician. Her love for animals has always been the drive of compassion for not only our furry loved ones 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, a few Specialties, 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 enjoys spending time with her fiance, her rescued German Shepherd pup, Maxx, and her 3 furry whisker-babies, Miko, Lil-Mister, and Milo. 

Marie Snyder

Marie grew up in West Michigan with her parents, two brothers, and three dogs. After graduating with her B.A. in Psychology from the University of Michigan in 2017, Marie moved to Central Florida to work for Disney.  There, she and her amazing husband share their home with a crazy little aussiedoodle named Pepper Potts.

After going through the grief of losing her first dog Francis, Marie felt it was time to pursue a career where she could make a difference. She evaluated experience and passions of her lifetime love for pets, customer service and scheduling experience, helping people through difficult situations, volunteering at a hospice, and still grieving the loss of her best buddy Francis. 

In her search for a fulfilling and purposeful role, Marie found Lap of Love and their mission of assisting pet families in the end of life journey. She was absolutely determined to join the team and help pet parents in every way she can.

Mary Beth Morawski

Mary Beth was born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio.  She later relocated to North Carolina to be closer to the beach. Growing up she always had a passion for working with animals and quickly found out this is what brings her the most happiness. She worked at a mobile vet clinic and thoroughly enjoyed the fast paced environment and of course, all the furry friends that came along with the job.

When Mary Beth moved to North Carolina, she started a new job as a Caregiver. She loved being able to help people in need but also wanted to find a way to help animals as well. She was then introduced to Lap of Love and knew it would be a perfect fit. 

In her spare time, you can find Mary Beth taking her Australian Shepherd, Tucker to the beach.  Back at her house you will also find her Siamese cat named Ghost, Alfredo the betta fish, and Tiki the parakeet. All of her animals are family to her and that is why she is so honored to be able to make a difference in the lives of families that are going through such a difficult time.

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.

Mateja Wheeler

Mateja comes from a long line of Floridians and surely wouldn’t last too long away from the beach. While growing up in the sunshine state, she always had an animal companion starting from a young age.

She is a mom of two cats (Ghost and Grace), two dogs (Tyson and Dolce), and one human daughter, Kae. When they are not walking to the local lake, you’ll find them visiting the local animal shelter with donations in exchange for some extra animal kisses.

Mateja is currently working towards a degree in psychology at St. Petersburg College since her main goal in life is to help others who need it the most. This aspiration is what drew her to Lap of Love. After her own experience with her dog, Dolce (12), who gets very anxious going for car rides or the vet; she quickly found Lap of Love while reviewing options for end of life care. The hardest decision of her life was made bearable as she gained confidence from the information received by our resources. Her experience impacted her to want to help families and their pets and is honored to be able to do so. 

Melissa Perez

Melissa is an animal care and welfare specialist with over 20 years of experience working with all types of animals ranging from pets, wildlife, exotic animals and farm animals.  As a certified Humane Officer and an experienced veterinary nurse she has had many opportunities to “take her work home” with her and has fostered homeless pets and cared for hospice and elderly pets that found their way to the animal shelter.  

While volunteering for HSUS and FEMA as a field-active disaster responder in New Orleans post hurricane Katrina, Melissa had the opportunity to truly see how powerful the bond between people and their pets is.  After this eye-opening experience she has worked on a series of projects that strengthen and protect the human-animal bond. Some of these include work-study programs at a local shelter for at-risk youth and assisting in founding an organization that fosters pets of domestic violence victims until they can safely take their pets back. 

Melissa shares her home with her husband Tom and their 8 cats and 3 dogs, all rescued.

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.

Mikki Sweigart

Blessed with her husband and their daughter, Mikki and her family share their home and love with two dogs, two cats, two fish, three turtles, and three lizards!   In their spare time, you can find them playing fetch with the dogs, catching some rays with the reptiles, gazing at the fish, or cuddling with the cats. The bond she felt with animals at a young age steered her path into the world of Veterinary Medicine.  Mikki has served in the veterinary field since 2012 and has found that her heart has always been inpatient care. Mikki joined the Lap of Love family in 2019 to be a guiding and empathetic voice for pet families during challenging times.

Mila Morris

Jamila is originally from St. Louis, Missouri, but relocated to Ada, Oklahoma in 1992. From a young age, she knew her calling was to care for animals and she started pet sitting. She continues to care for animals in the Ada area such as dogs, cats, shelf pets, fish, horses, chickens, and exotics. She has worked in veterinary clinics as receptionist, veterinary assistant and kennel manager. She has been a board member, volunteer and dog trainer for her local animal shelter.

In 2015, Jamila earned her Masters Degree in Psychology. With her passion and studies, she spent years teaching dog training classes and has studied animal (dog specifically) behavior extensively. Currently, Jamila has two cats, 13 and Bread, as well as five dogs: Saki, Poison Ivy, Himchan, Jake, and LaToya. Her free time is spent with her fur-kids, friends, or mother.

Jamila was intrigued by Lap of Love for their compassion of end of life care for our special companions. She is truly grateful for the animals she has encountered in her life as it taught her the importance and beauty of the human-animal bond.

Nadia Shomr

Nadia was born and raised in New York City. As a child, she was fascinated by animals as she enjoyed visiting zoos and aquariums. She often dreamed of having her own pet while watching Zoboomafoo or Animal Planet. As the youngest in a household of 7, this dream didn’t come true until her family got their fluffy black Pomeranian, Kris. They were inseparable for fourteen years. Her furry family grew as two more Poms were introduced into the mix, Cereza and Hurley, as well as many hamsters.

Inspired by Kris, Nadia joined the field of veterinary medicine at the age of 19 and has continued to work in private, corporate, and emergency medicine. She has learned how to provide the best care for pets through customer service and as a veterinary assistant. Nadia treats every client like family and every pet as if they are her own. With the difficulty of having lost her beloved, Kris, she knows the life changing experience that comes with the loss of a pet.

During her free time, Nadia enjoys spending time with her sister and partner, watching anime, playing video games, working on illustrations and photography projects. 

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, Georgia 6 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.

Nicole grew up surrounded by dogs. They have always been family and she cannot imagine her life without them. Nicole has an undying love and connection with all animals, 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 with Lap of Love.

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 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.

Rachel Shirley

Rachel’s purpose and passion in life are to add value to others in the most significant and meaningful ways. She lives in Florida with her beloved husband and two precious boxer boys. When the opportunity to become part of the Lap of Love team came along, she instantly knew it was the right place for her. The passion for helping humans, animals, and their bonds is in her DNA.

Since serving as both a certified professional coach and a certified pet loss grief companion, she feels this is the most fulfilling and rewarding life. Rachel is honored and privileged to support pet families through one of the most difficult times in their lives.

Ralph Torres

Ralph was born in Brooklyn,  New York and raised in the Tampa Bay area. After working several years in a multitude of different jobs such as retail, manual labor, and technical work,  Ralph decided to follow his path for growth and something new. In November of 2020, he became a Veterinary Care Coordinator  For Lap of Love where he begin pursuing his quest for growth and the care of animals.  Previously before joining the Lap of Love team Ralph Worked for Tampa General Hospital where he shared his love, care, and empathy for everyone he encountered. Ralph has brought that same love and passion here to Lap of Love. Since joining the team Ralph has purchased his first puppy which his little one has named Miles from Spider-man!

When not assisting fur parents, Ralph enjoys spending his free time with His son and their new pup Miles. Ralph also enjoys spending his time out on the golf course with other Lap of Love members or even on the soccer field getting a good run in.  

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. 

Rebecca first 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.

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.

Shelby Walsh

Shelby grew up and has lived in Cincinnati, Ohio her entire life. She has always had a great admiration for animals, starting from an early age. She pursued her dedication for helping animals at Banfield about eight years ago after working in the retail industry for a bit. She then proceeded to work at a spay/neuter clinic for about five years as she found her passion for end of life care and helping the families through a difficult time. In 2020, when she heard about Lap of Love, she realized it was the perfect opportunity to further explore this career path.

She spends her free time exploring new parks with her son and their dog. They also have four cats that she has recused over the years. She enjoys learning new hobbies and has recently picked up knitting.

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. 

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

Tina was born and raised in upstate NY, then married and moved to Vermont in 1985. Tina and her husband Ron made Florida their home in August of 2015. Tina has 3 children, Todd, Jay and Honey Rose, 4 grandchildren, Kyra, Ryan, Taleah and Malina. She also has three fur-babies: Mama Dog, Bubby and Scrunt (all rescues). In 2011 she started a 501c3, Emma's Foundation for Canine Cancer (In loving memory of her yellow lab, Emma who was lost to mandibular osteosarcoma). Her foundation provides financial assistance to dog owners who cannot afford the cancer treatment for their beloved pet. Her desire is to make a difference for these animals and for the people who love and need them.

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.

Zakiya Conley

Zakiya was born and raised in New York and now calls Florida her home. She spent most of her childhood trying to rescue every stray animal imaginable, which led to her interest in the veterinary field. From veterinary assisting to veterinary practice management, she has spent many years learning as much as she could to be able to assist families in need. Zakiya has a loving husband and a daughter who keeps her laughing to no end. She is very understanding and loves to put people at ease. These characteristics led her to Lap of Love where she truly believes compassion abounds.