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
"Such a difficult time when having to say goodbye to our loving and faithful buddy Jack. Jack had been up and down with his health, and making this decision to help him I could not have hoped for a kinder, more compassionate person to be with us and guide us through Jack's passing. Dr. Katie came and assessed his condition, confirming that his pain and difficulty were at a point where letting go was indeed the compassionate thing to do. She took her time and took some photos, made a sweet paw print, and talked us through every step of the process. My memory of his passing will always be softened by this help of this gentle and sweet caregiver. I cannot recommend more highly this service to all pet owners who need a caring heart to help with the passing of your pet, a truly wonderful service."
Lillian MartinGREEN CV SPGS, Florida
"I want to thank Dr. Michelle Halverson for helping me with my 18yr old best friend and loving companion Poe, my Main Coon Cat. Poe was so much more than just a pet, he was a constant source of comfort and strength anytime I needed it. For 18 yrs he was always there for me even when I didn’t think I needed anything, his presence became a comfort I often took for granted. It wasn’t until after he was gone that I really understood that. When Poe got sick for the last time I knew it was my turn to do what I could to keep him from suffering. When his mouth cancer reached a point where his quality of life was declining, I knew it was time. I was referred to Lap of Love by my good friend Elizabeth Copley. This was by far the hardest thing I ever had to do. Dr. Michelle made the process as beautiful and as painless as possible. She was so kind to us and offered words of comfort. Poe laid in my lap as she put him to sleep. He drifted off effortlessly while I held him. After a few minutes with him, she finished the process. I held him tight and cried my eyes out. I was so lucky to of had him in my life and so appreciated being able to be there as he took his last breath In the loving comfort of his people and in his own home. Thank you Dr. Michelle. Thank you for giving my boy the dignity he deserved. Thank you and your organization for the kind service you provide."
Paul DuffeJacksonville, Florida
"Lap of Love came highly recommended by our friends. Our Princess Baby Ruffle's long battle with renal disease and cancer came to an end this week. Ruffles went very gently and peacefully into her Goodnight while at home, in her favorite spot. Dr. Michelle made this last mile with Ruffles so much easier for Ruffles and for us. This was our parting gift to a dog that gave us almost 13 years of joy."
Geri RooksPonte Vedra Beach, Florida
"Dot dog was my friend and constant companion for nearly 16 years. She was by my side through many trials as well as the good times. I know there will never be another dog quite like her.
I am so thankful that Dr. Katie came to our home where Dot could pass with relaxed and with dignity, surrounded by loving and caring family in her home environment."
Tina AndersonJacksonville, Florida
"I can’t completely say by words how much Dr. Katie Stender helped and showed her love of what she does. I can however say we felt at peace from the moment she arrived and through the process of giving our Angel Mocha her wings. Dr. Katie is a blessing to all she meets and comforts in such hard times, we have another girl pet named Abby that is seventeen soon and hopefully we will be blessed by having her as long as we did Mocha (20 yrs) . When her time comes we will be placing a call to Dr. Katie because we know how wonderful and gentle she is with people and our furry friends. Much love ❤️"
Sheila WestJacksonville, Florida
"Dr. Katie was such a blessing during such a difficult time. She and the entire team at Lap of Love were excellent, empathetic, and supportive, and I would highly recommend them to provide support and services when you need them."
Jennifer FernandezJacksonville, 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