Atlanta & Surrounding Areas
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 and will be returned to your primary care veterinarian within a week. They can also be made available directly from the crematory (no charge) or mailed to you for an additional fee of $40.
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 grew up in Birmingham, Alabama, and I always had a cat by my side. Although I had an interest in medicine during high school and college, I did not know that I wanted to become a vet until my junior year at Furman University. Our cat, Lilly, had escaped from the house and had been in an accident. She was rushed to the vet where her life was saved. That summer, I began working for the doctor who helped Lilly. Through my family’s experience and the compassion of Dr. Stark, I realized that pet parents can be healed on an emotional level by veterinarians helping their pets. I knew from that point forward that I wanted to be a veterinarian.
In my career, I have been a general practitioner, emergency vet, and practice owner. The one interaction during all the stages of my career where I feel like I can make the biggest difference in the lives of both pets and their families’ is during the final days and minutes of a pet’s life. When I can ease the suffering of a pet in a way that the family feels at peace with their decision, then I know I have done my job. I am honored to be working with Lap of Love, and helping families in this unique way.
I grew up in Tidewater Virginia in a house filled with animals. We have always had at least three cats and one dog at any given time. My close association with animals from birth naturally cultivated a love for taking care of them and learning all about them. This led me to follow my family roots to the Deep South for college and veterinary school receiving my Bachelor of Science in Zoology and Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degrees from Auburn University. In veterinary school, I developed special interests in surgery, feline medicine and dermatology but since starting in general practice, I realized there is a great need for learning how to care for geriatric pets and pets at the hospice stage. No time is more important with your pet than at the end of their long life. I believe we have a wonderful gift of euthanasia in our profession that helps our pets pass with dignity and in peace. I am honored to serve you, your family, and most importantly your pets with Lap of Love.
I was born and raised in Alpharetta, GA and attended Woodward Academy. My journey to becoming a veterinarian began when I got my own dog at the age of 7. My wish had finally come true!
I grew up in a medical family and knew that I wanted to pursue medicine in some fashion, but it wasn’t until my freshman year at Auburn University that I found my calling. I was working in a veterinarian’s office when my beloved Sheltie got sick and had to be hospitalized. As an employee at the veterinary office, I witnessed first-hand the compassion they showed to both my dog and me. It was then that my love and animals and medicine came together. I returned to Auburn and changed my major to Zoology. After that, I was accepted to the University of Florida College of Veterinarian Medicine and earned my DVM.
I feel so privileged to be able to guide other families through the process of helping their pets, whether it be to improve their quality of life or end their suffering.
I grew up on a small farm in southern Michigan and have always had multiple pets. From a young age, I always wanted to "help" the sick barn cats and save the baby pigs; I loved it whenever the vet came out for a farm visit! Thus began my quest of becoming a veterinarian to help animals. I ecstatically began my veterinary training at Michigan State University, and despite life's twists and turns, very successfully completed and received my DVM from Cornell University in 1994.
But 1994 also brought some unexpected life changes - the death of my father and the birth of my son, who a year later developed progressive special needs. I have since spent the last 20+ years in central New York learning how to balance caring for animals with caregiving for people. Along the way, I’ve realized that by caring for pets, we are helping their human caregivers as well! I have found that I help the most when I can take time to be present with clients, listen to their concerns and offer compassion.
As no journey is ever straight, my most recent life "twist" has brought me to Atlanta to further assist my son—now a young adult—in pursuit of his dreams. And as fate would have it, I can continue to pursue my own as well. I have a great desire to assist families making end-of-life decisions for their pets in the comfort of their homes. As a Lap of Love veterinarian, I can be present, caring, and compassionate with pet caregivers in their deepest time of need, and give their cherished companions the dignity and respect they deserve. I look forward to serving families in the metro Atlanta area.
Lauren Cassady, DVM
"Dr. Ashley was so wonderful in this process. If you are struggling with what to do to help your pet, I highly recommend you call Lap of Love. Our dog George had heart disease and had been having breathing issues for over 2 years and was on 14 pills spread out over 4 doses a day. After talking to our primary vet almost a year ago, she suggested that we not bring George back to the veterinary office because it upset him so much he may not survive. They told us he would suffer if his breathing worsened while we were at work. We didn't want him to suffer. They suggested we call Lap of Love when the time came. That was a great recommendation! Dr. Ashley called before she came over and that gave me some time to ask questions - she was extremely patient and made the entire process about our family and George. George passed when he was having a good day, and we were able to spend the day doing his favorite things. He had scrambled egg for breakfast and steak for lunch, we got to go for a ride in the car and he was even able to go for a walk. It was one of the hardest decisions I ever made, but Dr. Ashley assured us that she does this because it really is the best thing for our beloved pets. It was so great that our family could be with George in our own home as he passed peacefully. Thank you to Lap of Love and to Dr. Ashley"
"Dr. Ashley Payne and Lap of Love were a true blessing when we said our goodbye to our beloved 10 Speed. We knew that we were going to lose her but were struggling with how that would happen. Almost by accident we found out about the service Lap of Love offers and couldn't believe that we would have the chance to let 10 Speed go right in our home. Dr. Ashley was so kind and patient and knew just what to say to provide us with reassurance that we were doing the right thing. As we were comforting 10 Speed and trying to make her as comfortable as possible, Dr. Ashley was doing that for us.
Saying goodbye to someone you love is never easy but being able to do it in our home, on 10 Speed's favorite pillow with her sister right there with us was nothing short of a blessing.
I was very concerned with making her final hours as comfortable as possible and didn't want to do anything that would increase her anxiety or stress levels. Dr. Ashley and Lap of Love gave us the chance to remove all of that from 10 Speed's last hours with us. We were able to kiss 10 Speed, comfort her and keep her relaxed and tell her not to be afraid. She left us without fear and she was truly at peace. Thank you Lap of Love and Dr. Ashley Payne for the gift you gave us. Your organization are true angels for our fur babies!"
Cindy ThigpenDecatur, Georgia
"Dr. Cary was very supportive by helping me make that dreaded decision. Irie was the sweetest, most loving dog I have ever known. I never heard her growl once in her life and I had her since she was 6 weeks. She absolutely loved small children, other dogs and maybe a few cats. She was an amazing hunter in her day with at least two squirrels and one opossum! But her old dog spine finally gave out and she could not get up anymore. She is now in a better place. Again, thank you Dr. Cary."
Mary Frances LoganAtlanta, Georgia
"When Dr. Jo came to our house we were filled with such sorrow over the thought of losing our sweet dog, Joey. Dr. Jo was incredibly kind, understanding and showed a tremendous amount of empathy. Joey was a special dog and Dr. Jo honored his passing in the most compassionate way imaginable. She hugged us while we cried and even though she didn't know Joey we felt as if she had known him his entire life.
Thank you, Dr. Jo for helping us see our sweet boy Joey pass onto heaven."
Dana Nicholslilburn, Georgia
"The decision to let go of our sweet boy, Hoff, after a long battle with congestive heart failure and a defective valve was not an easy one.
Dr. Jo allowed Hoff and us to make the transition in the comfort of our home, as we did not want to put him through another stressful trip to the vet. She was patient and compassionate throughout the entire process. It truly takes an angel to do what Dr. Jo and all of the other vets of Lap of Love do everyday.
We miss you so much and you will always be a part of our family! Love and paw bumps until we see each other again. Sleep the sweetest dream sweet boy!"
Lauren AdamiAtlanta, Georgia
"Our dear Dr. Jo,
We can't describe how blessed we feel that we found you to help send our beloved Cassie on her way.
Yes we are heartbroken, but you helped us come to terms with our grief and that by allowing Cassie to leave was absolutely the only last gift that we could give her.
We thank you and are amazed at how compassionately you dealt with her and us. We have a peaceful memory of our baby.
In the words of Kahlil Gibran - “Life and Death are one, as the River is one with the Sea."
Go well always Dr. Jo
Love & blessings
Marilyn Keith and Greyly Stentiford"
Marilyn & Keith StentifordAtlanta, Georgia
Pet Life and Loss Support Services
Lawrenceville: Christy R. Simpson, LCSW
Norcross: North Pines Counseling Center
Georgia Veterinary Specialists, Sandy Springs GA
An-emerge (after hours only), Gainesville GA
Cherokee Emergency Veterinary Clinic, Woodstock, GA
Cobb Emergency Veterinary Clinic, Marietta, GA
The Village Vets in Decatur, Decatur, GA
St. Francis Veterinary Specialists, Decatur, GA
Helping families in the following areas:
We assist families with in home pet hospice and euthanasia in Atlanta and surrounding suburbs. Travel fees may be assessed based on distance from veterinarian's home, beginning at $30 for travel over 20 miles.
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.
Lap of Love2107 N. Decatur RoadSuite 246Decatur, GA 30033
Fox 5 Atlanta: Pet Owners Say Goodbye At Home
The Atlanta Journal: Veterinarian Brings Hospice Care to Pets
We Are deKalb Magazine: Lap of Love Brings In-Home Pet Hospice Care