All services are provided in the comfort of your home.
Includes a brief examination by the veterinarian, a full assessment of your pet's quality of life, and a custom treatment plan to help you care for your pet and monitor their condition.
Includes a discussion with the veterinarian, medication to ensure comfort, gentle euthanasia, pawprint impression keepsake, lock of fur, and Lap of Love's Eternal Pawprints booklet. The additional cost for the varied cremation services are detailed in the Aftercare Pricing section.
Includes a brief examination by the veterinarian to help explain your pet's condition, discuss symptom management including pain and anxiety, and prepare an end of life care plan using the appropriate quality of life scale to manage your pet along with your family's needs and desires.
There may be an additional charge for extended travel (see Service Area below), holidays ($50 - $100), pets over 99 lbs, appointments outside normal business hours (when arranged), and aggressive pets.
Although we mainly see dogs and cats, some of our veterinarians can assist you with other species such as pigs, guinea pigs, rabbits, ferrets, birds, fish, and goats. Call for pricing and availability.
With this option, your pet is cremated privately at a licensed crematory. The ashes are contained in a lovely wooden urn with an engraved nameplate and will be returned to your primary care veterinarian within two weeks. They can also be made available directly from the crematory.
This option is for families that don't wish to have their pet's ashes returned nor wish to bury at home. Pets are respectfully cremated with other pets at a licensed crematory and ashes are scattered by the crematory.
There may be a fee if addtional assistance to safely carry your pet out of your home is needed.
We are here to answer your questions every day, from 7am - 11pm. Appointments are scheduled throughout the week, please call for availability.
Sometimes, pets take a turn for the worse overnight, so we do our best to accommodate same day appointments with a few hours notice when possible.
If this is a medical emergency, please contact your local veterinarian or one of the emergency clinics listed in the Local Resources section.
Let us introduce you to the amazing hospice veterinarians in your area.
Melissa Carter, DVM
I dreamed of becoming a veterinarian ever since I can remember. Animals have always held a special place in my heart despite not having a pet of my own as a child. I pestered my parents for 15 years before they relented and got me my first dog, an adorable poodle/beagle mix named Pico. He and I were inseparable and this relationship allowed me to experience the true depths of the human-animal bond.
While practicing veterinary care, I came to understand how important it is to preserve that bond, and I developed a growing appreciation for in-home hospice and end of life care while helping families in South Florida. Those house calls were never easy, but I always took pride in being able to counsel families and aid in a peaceful transition for a beloved family member.
As a University of Florida School of Veterinary Medicine grad, I am excited to return to the Gainesville area and offer end of life care services to my neighbors. With each unique companion I meet, I feel increasingly humbled and honored to be able to provide an intimate and peaceful transition while being surrounded by love and family.
Jen Bansel, DVM
I don’t remember when I started wanting to be a Veterinarian, but I do know it’s the only thing I thought about while growing up. I loved reading James Herriot books as well as anything I could find related to horses and dogs. My favorite times where playing with our family dogs and spending as much time as possible at the barn. I even remember trading work for riding lessons. Working on my undergrad degree, I became deeply interested in science and briefly forgot about being a veterinarian.
That all changed after attending the vet school’s open house during my senior year. I realized how envious I was of the vet students and wanted to do what they were doing and studying. I once again changed my career focus and immediately applied to veterinary college. While attending veterinary college I found my passion was working with animal rescue and behavior. The two are very closely linked and many times behavior is the main reason animals are abandoned at shelters. Upon graduating, I began working in private practice and truly enjoyed the close connections I made with many of the pet owners and their beloved family companions.
I found that one of the most important and difficult tasks was assisting owners with the decision to euthanize their pet as well as performing the Euthanasia. We tend to remember those last moments with our pets very clearly; they can remain with us for a long time. Helping to make the process as calm and stress-free was very important to me. I began to make a few house calls for euthanasia and noticed a significant difference in how calming it was for both the pets and their owners to be in the familiar surroundings of their own home instead of anxiously waiting in the veterinarian’s office. I am very pleased to be able to provide in-home hospice and euthanasia. My goal is to make this difficult time as stress-free as possible, so that you can always remember your pet’s last moments surrounded by peace and love.
Selena Tinga, DVM
The first few years of my life were spent living in the rainforest of Australia, watching wallabies and echidnas in my backyard. My mom tells me I started saying that I wanted to be a veterinarian soon after I started speaking, which surely stemmed from my rural upbringing, surrounded by wildlife. My mom and I spent the rest of my “growing up years” in rural Hawaii, where there is far less wildlife. But we kept our own menagerie of beloved pets and my determination to become a veterinarian continued to grow. I moved across the USA to upstate New York to pursue my undergraduate and veterinary degrees at Cornell University. My shelter cat, Spud, then landed with me in Florida where we both enjoyed the virtually non-existent winters!
Funny enough, even with such staunch determination during all 29 years of dreaming and training, I really did not understand what it meant to be a veterinarian. I’m definitely still figuring it out, but I have found that this title bestowed upon me is so much more than just the knowledge and skills gained in school. I have felt the most fulfilled, simply from the relationships that I have developed with my patients and their owners. And maybe even more so from observing the love exchanged between my patients and their owners.
The most delicate moment in this relationship, I believe, comes at the end of life, when a great veterinarian can provide counseling and help to ease the transition from life for both pet and owner. I am constantly working on becoming this great veterinarian.
Melissa Carter, DVM
"Dr. Jen made one of the most difficult times in my life as easy as it could possibly be. My beloved kitty's passing was painless, peaceful, and beautiful. Dr. Jen let my family and me dictate the pace of the process, answered every question asked, walked us through every step, and was a kind and calm presence throughout the process. I'm so happy I discovered Lap of Love. To be able to let my baby pass in the comfort and familiarity of our home surrounded by everyone who loved him was a blessing, and I don't have the words to fully express my gratitude for the wonderful Dr. Jen and for Lap of Love."
Kelsey McVaughGainesville, Florida
"Dr. Jen was so very gentle, kind, patient and understanding with Heidi and us. Such a difficult and painful decision to make yet we knew it was inevitable and did not want our sweet Heidi to hurt. Dr. Jen felt like a dear friend who helped make the passing of our dear girl as bearable as possible. We could never Thank her enough for her professional guidance and kind heart."
Gwen YoungOcala, Florida
"Dr. Selena made this difficult decision much easier for us. She was such a comfort to have with us at this sad time."
Lindi & Rich MillerGainesville, Florida
"We are so greatful to Dr. Jen Bansel of Gainesville, Florida for making this most difficult day as peaceful a passing as could be possible for our beloved 20-year old dog, Roxie. Jen Bansel came out to our home, and was totally caring with her highest priority being to comfort and guide us during this most difficult time."
Ken Grauer Catherine DuncanGainesville, Florida
"Dr Jen was wonderful with our boy. She showed patience with us, and was very kind and gentle with Sargent. I love this company and all the staff that I have spoken to for the two months prior to his passing. Everyone is wonderful and I can't imagine any other way now. Dr Jen really cares. It was very comforting to have her with us at this very hard time in our lives. We appreciate her and all the staff greatly."
Heather VaughnGainesville, Florida
"Dr. Jen is an angel of mercy.
This past weekend we had to make a very difficult decision.
Our regular vet advised us that our sweet 10-year old Labrador, Dixie, was in kidney failure and that we had about a week left with her. Despite the fact that she hadn't eaten for five solid days, she was still drinking water, and was eager to go for walks and runs with her older brother. By Day 6 it was evident that the end was approaching as she grew weaker, slept more, vomiting on occassion and was losing weight quickly. I was hoping for a miracle. My girl had a history of survival and I thought if I prayed and tried hard enough we could beat this. When I called our normal vet on Friday for advice she suggested we contact Dr. Jen with Lap of Love animal hospice. In my life I had never heard of hospice for animals so I was eager to consider this option. After having read the testimonials I grew stronger in my ability to make the tough and unimaginable decision. My husband called Dr. Jen and together they gently made a plan.
The morning of her passing, Dr. Jen came to our home.It was on a Sunday. But the time Dr Jen arrived we were able to have our darling Dixie outside on her favorite blankets on her favorite part of her patio where she could enjoy her favorite things (cool air, sun on her face, birds chirping). We talked about Dixie with Dr Jen: she was gentle, kind and patient with us. She assured us that we were making the right decision. Waiting longer would have presented a situation that could have been bad for all of us. Dixie deserved a dignified, peaceful, and beautiful exit from this life. Being in a cold office or God forbid an emergency room would have been horrible for all of us.
There is no doubt that making a decision to end the life of the love of your life is the hardest thing one can ever do. However, in our case, we knew she would not win this fight and to let it go beyond our control would have been horribly unfair to her. She didn't deserve that.
We are left with the sad but beautiful memory of a wonderful life in the end. We thank Dr. Jen for being with us and helping us through our darkest hour."
Donna BurdgeNewberry, Florida
Pet Life and Loss Support Services
University of Florida School of Veterinary Medicine
Affiliated Pet Emergency Services
UF Small Animal Hospital in Gainesville
Helping families in the following areas:
We assist families with in home pet hospice and euthanasia in towns in and around Alachua county including the following listed below. Travel fees may be assessed based on distance and ranges from $30-$60.
Preferred methods of payment are check (made to 'Lap of Love') or cash.
Most pet insurance companies cover Lap of Love services. Please have any paperwork ready for the veterinarian to complete so that you can submit it for reimbursement.
Lap of LovePO BOX 358944Gainesville, FL 32635