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.
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!
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.
I've had a close connection with all creatures from an early age - whether it was insects or zoo animals - I wanted to be a part of their lives and care for them! As soon as I was old enough, I began volunteering and working with animals in many capacities. As a teenager, I helped to walk dogs at the local shelter. During college I continued to help animals, working as a kennel technician, a receptionist, and eventually a veterinary nurse. Finally, I was accepted into veterinary school and my life dream was realized. I was even able to travel to South Africa and work with safari animals during an externship.
I obtained my bachelor's degree from Florida State and went to vet school at Ross University in St. Kitts. I've been able to experience a very diverse workload around the country and the world! I have worked as a veterinarian in both Colorado and the U.S. Virgin Islands before moving back home to Jacksonville. Throughout my career, it has become very important to me to help families with end of life care for their beloved pets. It is never easy to say goodbye to our friends. If I am able to help make the experience more comfortable by providing dignity within a familiar environment, then I feel that I have honored my profession. I have helped my own personal pets transition in this way, and I understand how much more calming and peaceful this experience can be for all of us.
My family includes my husband and our daughter Isla, as well as our dog Bodhi and our cats Aubie and Fraggle. We love spending time on the water and having fun on the beach! Thank you for honoring me by allowing me into your home and lives during such a personal moment.
Katie Stender, DVM
"Dr. Katie is truly amazing... She came to the house yesterday and helped Ginger gain her wings in a way that was loving and dignified. I never imagined I would feel this much peace after such an emotional event, but the kindness and compassion that Dr. Katie extended to us, was the key to helping us have a celebration of the love and life Ginger brought to our home, instead of mourning her passing.
Thank you so much Dr. Katie, you gave us the most priceless gift in the universe....Peace.
Kelly, Gene and Ginger Krause Drenzek"
Kelly KrauseAtlantic Beach, Florida
"Dr. Halverson and the entire staff were awesome! They are compassionate, understanding and patient. My girl took a quick turn downward and they were so good at trying to get someone out so that she didn’t have to suffer longer. The website also provided me with great information and helped me in my decision! I’m so grateful I heard about them!"
Toni CooperJacksonville, Florida
"Our German Shepherd, Rio was 11 human years old. He was suffering from osteoarthritis and was very difficult for him to walk. We called Lap of Love and Dr. Katie helped with saying goodbye to our beloved Rio. She was very professional, compassionate, and respectful. We are very thankful for making his passing a peaceful one. We highly recommended their services."
Alicia MatayoshiJacksonville, Florida
"Dr. Michelle is such an angel. When my cat Daisy took a turn for the worse on very short notice, Dr. Michelle made the time to stop by to check on us even though she had a fully booked schedule. She was able to stay with us and help Daisy with her transition. It was such a tremendous comfort to me that Daisy was able to pass away at home, in bed in my arms. It was exactly what I wanted for her and what she deserved after a lifetime of snuggles and devotion. Dr. Michelle was very gentle with me and with Daisy. She patiently explained the entire process, and lovingly gave Daisy lots of petting throughout each stage. I told Dr. Michelle repeatedly how thankful I was and gave her a big hug before she drove away with Daisy. Words cannot express the deep gratitude I have for her and the Lap of Love organization. Thank-you from the bottom of my heart for making Daisy's final hour so peaceful."
Carrie CoombsJacksonville, Florida
"Dr. Katie was wonderful and helped us with our precious 15 year old lab, Maverick. She was so kind and let us say goodbye to him with such dignity and kindness. My boys were there and even our other pets were able to say goodbye to him. I would highly recommend this instead of going to the vet. Much less stressful on your pet and you can give them the goodbye they so deserve."
Elizabeth TestaSaint Johns, Florida
"Our beloved fur baby Maya, was diagnosed with a very aggressive brain cancer this past April 2018. Our neighbor recommended Lap of Love, and specifically Dr. Katie to help us say goodbye to Maya. Words cannot express how helpful and compassionate Lap of Love was during this very hard time for our family. Upon request, they sent us great resources to help us talk to our young children about what our dog was going through and what would happen when the doctor would come to our house. Maya was my first dog as an adult, and saying goodbye to her was heartbreaking. Our young children wanted to be present, and Dr. Katie was so calm and helpful in answering their questions so that I could focus on Maya. She helped make a very sad experience both calm and beautiful. I cannot express my gratitude enough! Even when Maya was gone, she showed such respect and joint sadness in our loss. We are so blessed when we are loved by animals, and it is heartbreaking that they cannot be with us longer. I am at peace with my decision to help Maya leave her pain behind, and a big part of my peace was how respectfully and peacefully it was done. Thank you Dr. Katie and Lap of Love!"
Kate RyderAtlantic Beach, 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