Greater Jacksonville and St. Johns Area
All services are provided in the comfort of your home.
Includes a brief examination by the veterinarian, a full assessment of your pet's quality of life, and a custom treatment plan to help you care for your pet and monitor their condition.
Includes a discussion with the veterinarian, medication to ensure comfort, gentle euthanasia, pawprint impression keepsake, lock of fur, and Lap of Love's Eternal Pawprints booklet. The additional cost for the varied cremation services are detailed in the Aftercare Pricing section.
Includes a brief examination by the veterinarian to help explain your pet's condition, discuss symptom management including pain and anxiety, and prepare an end of life care plan using the appropriate quality of life scale to manage your pet along with your family's needs and desires.
There may be an additional charge for extended travel (see Service Area below), holidays ($50 - $100), pets over 99 lbs, appointments outside normal business hours (when arranged), aggressive pets, and some exotic species.
Although we mainly see dogs and cats, some of our veterinarians can assist you with other species such as pigs, guinea pigs, rabbits, ferrets, birds, fish, and goats. Call for pricing and availability.
With this option, your pet is cremated privately at a licensed crematory. The ashes are contained in a lovely wooden urn (engraved nameplate is optional) 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 additional 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.
Katie Stender, DVM
I knew I had found my purpose as a veterinarian, perhaps even as a human being, after my first home visit for a very sick patient. Being able to share such a sacred moment with families as they said goodbye to their dearest companion is, simply, an honor. Helping others is what I was meant to do, however, I will never forget the day my beloved Labrador received her own beautiful angel wings. She was comfortable at home, surrounded by love, and she peacefully slipped away as I held her paw and told her I loved her. I truly believe it is the kindest gift that we can give our furry family members. One of my favorite things about my profession is that I'm able to help animals, but also build lasting relationships with their owners.
I graduated from the University of Florida with a Bachelors of Science and Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine. My husband, Taylor, and I have five furry children. Skippy, Shirley, Taco and Smokey are our kitties, and we also have a black Labrador, Lady. All of our animals are rescues and we love them dearly!
Katie Green, DVM
I am most at peace when I am helping people and their pets. Shelter medicine and non-profit general practice have been my home for some time now. I consider it a privilege to be a voice for the voiceless here in Jacksonville. Having the ability to help my patients transition from their lives here on earth is a blessing, and sharing in this moment creates a connection second to none. It is one of the most sacred gifts I can give a pet and their people.
While earning my bachelor’s degree at the University of Florida, my constant companion was Tazzy, an amazing, cranky, 15-year-old, grey and white cat who I rescued in central Florida. When Tazzy was 16, she took a turn for the worse and I rushed her to the veterinary hospital. She passed away in the triage area, away from me, with strangers. It still makes me incredibly sad that I wasn’t with her during her final moments.
After attending Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine I moved to Jacksonville to begin my career. One day, Howard, a 2-year-old white pit bull came in as a stray with a large mass on his front leg. I diagnosed him with bone cancer and decided to take him home and make whatever time he had left amazing.
We had six fantastic months together where I got to spoil him rotten. He truly was the best dog. When I knew it was time for Howard to cross the rainbow bridge, a friend of mine came out to the house and we sat in front of the Christmas tree with Howard’s head in my lap as I said my last goodbyes. Knowing from personal experience the peace that comes with at-home end of life care makes me incredibly blessed to have the opportunity to share this gift with you and your family.
Erin Coello, DVM
I cannot remember a time growing up when I, like a lot of children, didn’t want to be a veterinarian someday. For a lot of people, those dreams changed, but for me, the passion never died. I got my first job as a kennel technician for our family veterinarian on my 16th birthday, the day I had been waiting for to finally work with animals! Dr. Losey had been treating our family pets (cats, dogs, hamsters, and even our parakeet) for most of my life. He and his staff knew me and my family as well as they knew our animals. The most valuable lesson I learned from Dr. Losey during that time was that not only was this a profession where I got to work with animals, but people too. As my passion for animals grew, so did my urge to embrace, encourage, and protect the human-animal bond. As a veterinarian, I feel privileged to work with families who are welcoming a new member, such as a puppy, kitten, or even an older animal getting a new home, but I am just as fortunate to be there for a family when it is time to say goodbye. I am truly blessed to be a part of their journey, every step of the way.
My own journey was only beginning when I started working in my first vet clinic. I continued my experience in high school and college, and graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Florida. Following graduation, I worked my way toward vet school with various careers including high school teaching and marine mammal training. I finally graduated from Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine, after living on the beautiful Island of St. Kitts for 2.5 years, and completing my clinical year back at the University of Florida. (Go Gators!)
My own family includes myself, my wonderful, loving husband, our two mixed breed dogs, Jack and Lawtey, our very social cat, Gavin, and our slightly less social, but still friendly, corn snake, Shakespeare. My path to this career has been a winding one, full of surprises and blessings, and I am honored to be part of this beautiful profession, helping pets and their families, from beginning to end.
Katie Stender, DVM
"When I first heard about your work, without knowing you or having ever met you, I wondered how you could possibly deal with doing your job several times a day, but as if something wanted to answer my doubt, I immediately felt this strong uplifting sensation. It was very surprising to me, and it was exactly the same sensation I felt when you were here and said what a beautiful boy my dog was. I have held onto the feeling I had when you said that; it was so positive and strong, and I found that "copying" you helped me have a moment out of the bleakness and instead feel love and appreciation for him, which was just as real and "present" as the sadness. It makes me feel still connected to him. You managed to bring an uplifting love into an almost unbearable experience. Thank you for what you do."
"A big thank you to Lap of Love and Dr. Katie Stender. The process of letting go of a fur baby is so hard and the thought of having to take my Jake to the vet office to do the process was terrifying. He was 75 lbs and in a lot of pain so I knew that I couldn't get him in the car without causing him more pain. My vet clinic didn't offer home visits so I searched the internet and found Lap of Love. The reviews were amazing so I gave them a call. Dr. Nellie walked me through the process and was very thoughtful about our situation. When Dr. Katie arrived at our house, she made my family, Jake and my other dogs feel immediately comfortable. We took the process slow and she explained everything along the way. Although this was hard for our family to do, it would have been even more stressful if we had to load Jake up and take him vet. This at home process allowed our family and dogs the opportunity to say goodbye to Jake peacefully by his side with no stress. Again, thank you for the love Dr. Katie!!! You are truly amazing at what you do!!!"
Melissa MarkisJacksonville, Florida
"First thing I must say is that I never write testimonials. But felt I had to to say thank you to Dr. Katie Stender. I had to put my precious, loyal little Brody down after having him for over 14 yrs. Its a little hard to type/see thru the tears right now. A friend told me about Lap of Love and I hesitated for a few wks, but then decided to call. From the first phone call talking to Camila, I felt at ease, I've never had to do this before, so it was terrifying for me, I didn't want to have regrets and feel like I was taking the easy way out. He had always been so healthy, never sick, He was slowing down due to low back issue, on meds, cataract in one eye, but still wanting to go on his walks, but somehow when he perforated his eye things went downhill pretty quickly. I had him to eye surgeon but dr. did not want to operate due to his unknown heart issue (which by the way he had his regular vet visits) vet would not operate until cleared by cardiologist so on to cardiologist irregular EKG and left atrium enlarged. So due to his age eye surgeon not comfortable sleeping him so continue on with 3 diff eye drops 4x day for eye perf. He stopped wanting to go on his walks and paced around the house panting constantly. So, I decided I would not want to live not going on my walks 2x day that I use to live for or being in the dark basically due to eye conditions. So I made the call, and it was the best call I could have made for Brody and myself. We were so blessed to get Dr. Katie. She was so reassuring to me that I was making the right decision and this was whats best for Brody. I know I could not have gotten thru it without her. She was just so kind, reassuring and sweet to Brody and myself.There are no words for my gratitude towards Dr. Kate and the Lap of Love organization. I'm so thankful Dr. Katie was there for us."
DEBORAH FRAKERJAX BEACH, Florida
"From the moment Dr. Katie Stender walked through our front door, she radiated the kind of gentleness and concern with which she treats animals. She immediately sat down on the floor with our three greyhounds, and asked us many questions about all three, paying special attention to our dog Styx, who at thirteen years of age was in pain, burdened with his life and ready for the next one.
She was very attentive to all our needs, and explained every procedure as the euthanasia took place. We followed Styx to our bedroom where he lay on his bed. We all sat on the floor surrounding him, and the room was dimly lit. It was, I'm sure to him, just like another day--such a contrast to having to have this procedure done at a vet clinic, which puts the dog in fear, adding to the pain he already suffers. We will be forever grateful to her for giving our dog such a loving, gentle departure, and we are certainly going to use this alternative in the future when our other dogs require it."
Marie SmithJacksonville, Florida, Florida
"I can't thank Dr. Katie enough for helping us through this. It is very hard getting used to the emptiness but Harley (our other dog) is doing fine and my husband, Steve, has commented a few times this was the way to say goodbye to our Baby Girl, Ciara. It really helped saying goodbye in the comfort of our own home with her surrounded by her loved ones. Dr. Katie has a great bedside manner and made everything as easy as possible on all of us."
Donna MagelJacksonville, Florida
"Dr. Katie helped us through the hardest day of my life that I have just now been able to write about. Sebastian was diagnosed with an aggressive bone cancer just before his 10th birthday in June. Sebastian was part of our family, not “just a dog”. With no treatment options, we knew it would be selfish to make him suffer and we had to make the heart breaking decision to let him go. We were referred to Dr. Katie and I’m so thankful we were. As soon as she walked into our home she felt like a long time friend- never a stranger. She loved our baby and wanted him at peace as much as we did. Sebastian was comfortable at home surrounded by love when he “got his wings”. Dr. Katie was there to comfort him, and us, that day. She cares enough to check-in and see how we are doing. I can’t say enough what a wonderful heart she has and I don’t know how to thank her for all she did for me."
Tiffany RenoPonte Vedra Bch, Florida
Pet Life and Loss Support Services
Affiliated Veterinary Emergency Center
Clay-Duval Pet Emergency Clinic
Emergency & Critical Care Pet Hospital
St Augustine Regional Veterinary Emergency Center
Helping families in the following areas:
We proudly serves families in all of the northeast portion of Florida, from Fernandina down to Middleburg, including St. Johns. Due to the expansive area covered, there may be a travel fee incurred. Please call for details.
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.
1650 Margaret St. Ste. 302 # 207Jacksonville, FL 32204
The Florida Times: A death in the family: Saying goodbye to Ruby Ann