Tampa & St. Petersburg
All services are provided in the comfort of your home.
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, 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 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. Please 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 or mailed to your home or office.
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 in a butterfly garden or a local cemetary garden.
For pets over 30 pounds, we may ask your assistance moving your loved one if cremation has been requested. If additional help is needed outside what is available in the home, we may request that the crematory come to assist us. In this case, an additional fee will be needed to cover their charge.
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 or in a short amount of time, so we do our best to accommodate same day appointments with a few hours notice.
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’m often asked why I do what I do. Growing up I was surrounded by horses, cows, dogs, cats, birds, and various other animals, and I never thought I could put an animal to sleep. After almost a decade of education with hours spent in the veterinary school ICU, something changed. I wanted to be with those pets whose owners weren’t there to comfort them. I never wanted an animal to pass alone; I always thought how much warmer the experience would be if these animals were at home surrounded by family.
As an emergency veterinarian, I constantly witness owners' struggles as they are forced to make tough decisions quickly. They have no time to adjust to the life changing choices they are about to make, no time to come to terms with the acute illness or trauma that is completely unplanned. For many of these owners, all they want is time... even a few more hours. Lap of Love was born after witnessing a euthanasia in which the owner held tightly to her beloved dog, curled lovingly in her lap. It was such a beautiful sight, a woman and her companion sharing those last moments wrapped in each other. I knew I had to try to provide that opportunity to more people; it is what all owners and their pets deserve.
For me this is not a job, this is a calling. I do this because it is my gift to the animals I serve through my veterinary oath. I feel I have found my place in this vast veterinary world, quietly helping tighten the bond between owner and pet.
Growing up in Oklahoma, Illinois and Maryland, we always had pet dogs and cats. For a time we lived on a farm where there were also chickens, cows, pigs and horses. I greatly enjoyed being around all animals.
So it was really no surprise that I wanted to become a veterinarian. Volunteering at a small animal practice while I was in high school confirmed this for me as I saw how helping animals helped their owners too, such is the human - animal bond.
After I graduated from the University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine, my husband and I made our home in Tampa, raising two daughters and a myriad of pets we fostered/adopted. These included puppies, kitties, birds, rabbits, guinea pigs and gerbils. After graduation I worked in private practice for many years. Then to help homeless animals in the community, I worked at two animal shelters. While I found both private practice and shelter medicine to be very rewarding, working with Lap of Love is exceptionally gratifying. Nowhere is the strength of the bond between owners and their pets more visible, touching and heartwarming than during end of life care.
Currently our family includes 5 cats: 3 that we fostered and adopted from an animal shelter, another we adopted from the same animal shelter and a neighbor's cat that adopted us!
I feel so fortunate to be a part of such a compassionate group of individuals providing comfort and support during this time; for no matter how long our pets are a part of our lives, it's never long enough.
A lifelong love for animals inspired my veterinary career. My first word was “Farrah,” the name of my Siberian Husky sister from my early childhood. Caring for our dogs and cats, riding horses and ponies, and living on a farm in Bucks County, a Philadelphia suburb, were my fondest childhood memories.
My best friend during my challenging teenage years was Rhiannon, a very hyper Rottweiler. We did everything together: hiking the Appalachian Trail, swimming in the nearby creek, and even taking naps! Unfortunately, she injured her back leg and required surgery, but most tragic of all was her being diagnosed with bone cancer in one of her front legs. Her quality of life rapidly declined, and my family decided to give her the ultimate gift: a peaceful passing in our family room, surrounded by love. I was with her the whole time, and afterwards my parents buried her between some beautiful rose bushes in front of our horse barn. It was not long afterwards that I decided to become a veterinarian.
After completing a Bachelors of Science degree in biology in my hometown at Delaware Valley University, I moved to Baton Rouge to earn a Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine at the Louisiana State University School of Veterinary Medicine. Upon graduation, I moved to Las Vegas and entered general practice. I experienced both corporate and private practices in Nevada and Louisiana, but I felt like something was missing. I wanted to be able to do more for pets.
First, I studied acupuncture at the Chi Institute in Gainesville. Then, I explored the field of end-of-life care and realized it was my calling. I moved to the Tampa area and proudly joined Lap of Love. I am thrilled to work with such a compassionate and dedicated team of professionals, and I am honored to provide exceptional care to the pets and people who need us.
When I was a little girl, I aspired to be many things—a hair dresser and a pizza maker among those. In high school, I started working at a local animal hospital as a receptionist. With time, I eventually moved into the kennel and started working hands-on with the animals. I quickly developed a love for dogs and cats and always wanted to know how to make them better. During those years, I became a veterinary technician and decided being a veterinarian was my dream job. I set my sights on the University of Florida for both undergraduate and veterinary school. In 2005, I graduated with a Bachelor’s degree. In 2010, I attained my goal and graduated from the College of Veterinary Medicine.
Since graduation, I have been in General Practice and have gravitated towards end-of-life care. There is something so unique and special about our four-legged family members. They give us the unconditional love that we all want and need. For us, they may be a small piece of our life. But for them, we are their WHOLE world. I feel helping that loved one pass in the clinic doesn’t provide them with the respect and love they deserve. Instead, it should be a peaceful, calm and pain-free passing in a comfortable place surrounded by the ones they love the most. I am truly honored to help you and your loved ones through this difficult time.
“At the end of the day, when we leave this world, the only valuable legacy we leave behind is the love we gave to others and the love others gave to us."
I have wanted to be a veterinarian for as long as I can remember. I grew up in Kansas as the oldest of six children in a house with at least three animals running around at a time. There were always several cats, a dog, and a small animal (mouse, lizard, fish, frog, etc.) for us to play with. I studied animal science and veterinary medicine at Kansas State University. During my studies, I gained a huge respect for farmers and ranchers, so there will always be a special place in my heart for farm animals. I also learned that I love all species! I had the good fortune to work with everything from lions to bearded dragons to fish before I graduated in 2015. After veterinary school, I moved to Florida where I practiced general medicine and studied acupuncture therapy. We never stop learning!
My passion for end-of-life care started during my last year at veterinary school. I had the honor of taking care of an older dog who developed cancer that spread to his lungs and limbs. I spent 12-14 hours a day giving him everything that he needed while managing my other cases. I kept this up for about a week, while we were waiting for his family to come together at the hospital for his final goodbye. He had the best goodbye ever! As exhausting as his treatments were, I felt such peace. Giving this old dog the ultimate respect fulfilled something beyond myself.
Animals give to us unconditionally. Therefore, with Lap of Love, I hope that I give them the most comfortable passing possible.
Born and raised in northwest Indiana, I was the youngest of 5 kids. I witnessed my siblings grow up and leave the nest, often moving far away, for the military or their spouse’s job. The idea of traveling and moving to a new state always intrigued me, and in my family, seemed like the natural thing to do. I later realized that most people stay close to where they grow up; however, my path would be different, and my career would take me to several states.
My entire life, I have wanted to be a veterinarian. In fact, when I started college and saw people changing their majors after the first year, I was utterly confused. I thought, didn’t everyone know what they wanted to be when they grow up? I found out that was, of course, not the case for many, even though my road never wavered. The moment I realized cat-only hospitals existed, I was further drawn in that direction.
Throughout vet school at Purdue University in Lafayette, Indiana, I explored various options within veterinary medicine. The day of graduation I reflected on my experiences and reverted to my original vision of becoming a cat vet. My primary attraction to working at a cat-only clinic wasn’t necessarily because I had an exceptional love for cats. My draw to this environment was due to the ability it brought me to focus on one specific species. In fact, I’ve always personally had a dog, and have raised pet gerbils, parakeets and guinea pigs throughout my life. I have such an appreciation of the human-animal bond, regardless of the species. I’ve noticed that in my career I enjoy a position that allows me to maintain a narrower concentration though.
This same focus led me across the country from Las Vegas, NV to sunny Tampa, FL to join Lap of Love. As a hospice veterinarian, I can dedicate myself to one very important facet of veterinary medicine: helping people and their beloved pets when it is time to say good-bye. I’ve also held the role of pet parent and have personally lost pets throughout the years. I have experienced both the comfort of a peaceful in-home euthanasia and the anxiety associated with a pet’s final moments being in a clinic. It is a privilege to work with pets in their own, relaxed environment, and to honor families’ bonds with their pets by offering a compassionate experience when it is time to say good-bye.
Growing up in Halifax, Nova Scotia, my family provided a home to many small animals. They ranged from dogs and cats to ferrets and rabbits. I’ve known since early childhood that I wanted to be a veterinarian. I received the best medical education at the Atlantic Veterinary College in Prince Edward Island, Canada.
While I was away at college, my childhood dog, Benji, unfortunately, became sick. It was very difficult to see him slowly weaken into a fragile version of himself. He had been a loyal friend to me for more than 12 years. We couldn’t imagine life without him, but we knew it was best. My family and I made the difficult but loving decision to allow Benji to be at peace.
Living through this experience really woke me up to the need for quality, comforting end-of-life care for the animals that share our days and love us so much. Most pet owners will eventually face this kind of season. I know firsthand the challenges that come with tough times like this as well as the pressure caregivers face while tending to their loved ones. I am privileged to help you take care of your loved ones with as much peace and comfort as possible. I’m truly honored to be a Lap of Love Veterinarian and am here for you.
As a native Floridian born and raised in Tampa, Florida, attending Busch Gardens adventure camp was the highlight of my summer. Working with the animals thrilled me, but what I loved most was connecting with them. From this connection, I developed a strong appreciation and respect for the human/animal bond. My passion for animals grew as I attended camp for eight years and helped care for a menagerie of family pets including a dog, rabbit, iguana, sugar glider, turtle, and numerous gerbils and fish. I realized that I not only wanted to work with animals, I wanted to treat them.
My quest to become a veterinarian led me to Auburn University, where I earned a Zoology degree in 2007, followed by my doctorate at Mississippi State University in 2011. After graduation, I practiced in San Antonio, Texas for four years before returning home to Tampa.
I was in high school the first time I witnessed a pet being euthanized. It was my first day volunteering at a veterinary hospital, and a very sweet Dalmation was diagnosed with bone cancer. Due to the aggressive nature of the disease and the dog's decreased quality of life, the vet recommended euthanasia. I wanted to be brave for his parents, so I fought back tears and repeated “it’s what’s best for the pet” over and over in my head. These words have become my mantra and are the foundation upon which I practice medicine.
While veterinarians are needed throughout a pet’s life, I believe we are most needed in times of illness and injury. My calling as a vet is to support and advocate for my patients in their greatest time of need. I strive to give your furry family member the high quality of life he or she deserves and to ensure the best possible experience for you both when it’s time to say good-bye.
When I’m away from the “office,” I love spending time with my wonderful husband and our family of five furry children. We have two domestic short haired cats (Dolce and Duncan), a terrier mix named Rusty, a cairn terrier named Scooter, and a chihuahua named Dixie. They are a fun, goofy group of best friends that light up my world every day. I also enjoy cheering on the Bucs, Lightning, and Rays and attending theatre at the Straz Center.
I grew up the youngest of 4 children in sunny south Florida and my parents were not particularly fond of animals but my oldest brother and I loved them! Being 13 years older than I am, he would take me to pet stores every weekend so we could play with the puppies, ferrets, bunnies, and anything else we could snuggle. By the age of six, I knew I wanted to become a veterinarian.
I volunteered at veterinary clinics throughout middle and high school and went to the University of Florida for my undergraduate degree and Texas A&M University for my veterinary degree. While there, I was fortunate enough to work with all kinds of animals ranging from dogs and cats to cattle and horses, and even marine mammals and wildlife.
After veterinary school, my husband and I moved to Tampa where I worked in small animal practice, both corporate and private. While working, I became acutely aware of how special it was to help owners cope with the hardships in making decisions about their beloved pets’ end of life care. I find it an honor to help families find peace with one of the most selfless decisions they will ever make and that feeling is what led me to Lap of Love. Our pets give us so much love and change our lives forever, and we will always cherish the sweet memories of times we had together.
“Until one has loved an animal, a part of one’s soul remains unawakened.” – Anatole France
Dani McVety, DVM
"Using Lap of Love made all the difference in knowing we were providing the best possible end of life for our loved 4 legged family member. They were compassionate, loving, gentle, kind. We felt no rush at all. We needed and were appreciative of their guidance through the most emotional and sad time for our pets end of life."
Lorrie KuefferTampa, Florida
"We loved our Chloe so very much but she was going down hill fast after a Lymphoma diagnosis. She was suffering and the decision had to be made to allow her to go to Rainbow Bridge. Lap of Love was wonderfully compassionate and allowed our Chloe to go peacefully in the comfort of our home surrounded by those who loved her the most. Thank you for making Chloe's last moments peaceful and for supporting our family through a very difficult time."
Amanda PattersonClearwater, Florida
"Extremely thankful this past Thanksgiving day for Dr. Loren Gassler. She came to our home on short notice on a holiday afternoon and spent several hours in what can best be described as a beautiful ceremonious send off. Her obvious empathy, soft spoken words and assurances can not be described adequately. I was overwhelmed as to how professional the entire process was. Thank you again Dr. Gassler. You are truly one in a million!"
David NiemuthPort Richey, Florida
"Dr. Cathy was wonderful. Although having this process at home is a little expensive and not everyone can readily afford it, I do recommend for anyone that can. It is a relief to be done at home, surrounded by people you and your cherished pet love. You are free to grieve in the privacy of your own home for as long as you need. Dr. Cathy thank you for your loving heart, and peaceful spirit."
PATRICIA REISNew Port Richey, Florida
"Dr. Anna Champagne visited my home twice to meet and work with both of my Shih Tzus who have/had cancer. She was kind and compassionate and i knew she would be the one to request for the final house call. She came out to assist with Rita’s transition yesterday. She is an angel. Thank you so much."
Karen CapizziTampa/Sarasota, Florida
"Dr. Elizabeth was wonderful. She was patient with one of the hardest decision we had to make. She was gentle and explained everything to us. She was honest and kind.
Angela WarrickSain Petersburg, Florida
Pet Life and Loss Support Services
Lap of Love's Pet Life & Loss Support Group
BluePearl Veterinary Specialist
Tampa Bay Vet Emergency Services
Tampa Bay Vet Specialist in Largo
Pinellas Animal Foundation
Bentley's House; pet loss group in Sarasota
Helping families in the following areas:
Proudly serving the Tampa/St Petersburg area including:
Extended Travel Areas (additional charge applies to these areas):
To make the experience as peacful as possible, credit card over the phone (before the appointment) is generally preferred. We are also more than happy to accept a check (made to 'Lap of Love') or cash during our time with you.
Most pet insurance companies cover Lap of Love services. We are happy to help complete any paperwork needed to submit for reimbursement.
We also accept Care Credit.
Lap of Love17804 US Highway 41Lutz, FL 33549
Fox 13 News: Veterinarian brings peace to pets with in-home euthanasia
Communities Digital News: Transitioning with Love: The Rainbow Bridge
Anderson McQueen Radio: Saying Goodbye to a Beloved Companion
See more HERE
This Lap of Love location is owned and operated by Dr. Dani McVety.