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!
After graduating from the University of Florida, I worked for several animal hospitals in the Jacksonville area including PrimeVet Animal Hospital as well as shelter medicine at the Jacksonville Animal Care and Protective Services. Throughout my years of practice, I always felt something was missing. While working in the hospitals, the animal bond I felt has always been strong but the human bond was commonly missing. One day, maybe not by coincidence, I found Lap of Love. The mission of providing peace to not only pets but to the whole family suddenly became my life's mission. In joining Lap of Love, I am honored to provide this gift to families and feel complete in my profession.
In my free time, I enjoy practicing yoga, surfing, photography and Latin dance. My favorite hobby, however, is watching the Florida Gators basketball and football games. Gooooooooo Gators!
My husband, Dr. Ryan McAlpin (also a UF Alumni), is an established dentist in Orange Park. We have a daughter, Lilya, and a son, Tegan. Our family is completed by one kitty, Mia Maria, and 3 dogs, Sada Lane, Koa Kanani, and Charlie Rose. My husband and I are proud to serve Orange Park and the surrounding Jacksonville area.
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
"My wife & I CANNOT thank Dr. Michelle Halverson enough for her compassion & comfort as our beloved Bandit went peacefully. Tonight, we had to go pick up his ashes & talked about amazing she was. At first, I didn't want to have him to pass at home, but my wife was wise enough to tell me that we needed to be at home. She was 100% right! My heart hasn't hurt this much in 30 years. Dr. Michelle was an angel! So thankful that my wife & I had Lap of Love help us with Bandit's end of love. God Bless You for the work you do!!!
We have recommended Lap of Love to our family & friends on Facebook. Several of our friends responded that they have used Lap of Love when their pets were sick."
Keith YoungJacksonville, Florida
"Many thanks to Lap of Love, Dr. Katie Green, and especially Dr. Michelle Halverson for the care and compassion they showed my family and my sweet baby Riley. After the initial visit, Dr. Green checked in on us for months asking about her condition, until I realized her time was truly coming to a close. The passing of my best friend of 18 years was as peaceful and loving as I could have asked for. I'm grateful to have been there with her at the end, in the comfort of our home, in the warmth of her own bed, surrounded by love. I can't fully express the emptiness and despair that's in my heart right now, but I know it was merciful to prevent her from pain. She left this world in my arms and Dr. Halverson was there to guide and support me the entire time.
Thank you, Michelle. I'm eternally grateful."
Amy NadeauPONTE VEDRA BEACH, Florida
"This was one of the hardest decisions I've had to make. Kira was a constant in my life for 15 years. It was a blessing to be able to have Dr. Michelle come to the house because Kira was terrified of going to the vet. Dr. Michelle showed amazing compassion and understanding throughout the entire process and made sure that both Kira and I were as comfortable as possible. She kept me informed throughout the entire process even though I was a mess. Although I wish I never had to say goodbye I am so glad I chose to Lap of Love to help me through the process.
Thank you for everything you do!"
Dana HurleyJacksonville, Florida
"My heart just shattered into a million pieces. Oliver has gone to doggie heaven...the Rainbow Bridge. It was time. He was tired and he “told” me. I was with him at the end, spooning him. It was horribly beautiful. It was the hardest thing I’ve ever done but I had to. I couldn’t have him searching for my face in his final moments and just seeing strangers so we called Lap of Love to come to our house. Remarkable, so compassionate and understanding. We Highly recommend them.
Oliver was special. From the day I met him I knew he was something special. His non-stop wags, licking, his toothy smiles were the best - pure joy. His gently holding my hand in his mouth when he just wanted a little extra affection (All. The. Time. ♥️). His love for nibbling metal (buttons, zipper pulls, he once swallowed a very expensive earring that I remarkably recovered), getting in the middle of hugs, standing right in front of the stove when I’m cooking, endless Wheatie Kisses (when he really wanted to show his love he’d nibble my bottom lip), boundless energy, launching into the water like a lab, his cute doggie snoring and dreaming, and of course, the untrainable Wheaten Greetin’ (who would want to squash that?)
Heartbroken. I don’t know what I’m going to do without him but Lap of Love made an experience we all dread a beautiful experience.
2/27/2007 - 10/3/2018"
Elise MatthewsJacksonville, Florida
"I am so grateful to Dr. Katie for her kindness and compassion as she helped my Dutchess transition. Losing my senior furbaby of 8.5 yrs. at the age of 13 has been heartbreaking as she was the most perfect rescue companion anyone could ever hope for and I was so blessed to be her rescue Mom. Dr. Katie's love and kindness shines through in making a most difficult time a time of peacefulness and calm. I am forever grateful to Dr. Katie and Lap of Love."
Betty JacksonJacksonville, Florida
"Unfortunately, I have had to use the services of Lap of Love three times in the past three years. Nonetheless, I cannot think of a more peaceful or beautiful way to say goodbye to my fur children. I've told Dr. Stender and Dr. Halverson both "I don't know how you do what you do, but I am so grateful for your strength and compassion." I thank you both again -- you are angels. And I thank Lap of Love for providing this amazing service to pet lovers. Bless you all."
Amy WattersonJacksonville, 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