Chicago & Surrounding Suburbs
All services are provided in the comfort of your home.
Includes an 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 his condition.
Includes a brief 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 an examination by the veterinarian to help explain your pet's condition and discuss symptom management, including pain and anxiety. We will 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.
Holiday appointments may be available. The following holidays incur a $100 fee when scheduled: Easter, Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, and Christmas Day.
There may be an additional charge for extended travel (see Service Area below), 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 ferrets, hamsters and rabbits. 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 within a velvet bag. They are available directly from the crematory, can be mailed to you for $25, or can be hand-delivered to your home for an additional fee.
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 together.
There may be a fee if additional assistance to safely carry your pet out of your home is needed.
We are often available 7 days a week. We do our best to be available whenever needed, often within 1-3 hours, but this may vary with location, time of day, and prior commitments. The more advance notice given, the easier it is to schedule the appointment time desired. If this is a medical emergency, please contact your local veterinarian or see Local Resources section below.
Let us introduce you to the amazing hospice veterinarians in your area.
Juliana Lyles, DVM
Like many veterinarians, I knew I wanted to be an “animal doctor” from the time I was very young. Even though I grew up in the suburbs of Chicago with its abundance of domestic pets, there was never a shortage of injured wild animals, such as rabbits, baby birds, and even a field mouse or two whose tiny little eyes had not even opened yet, which needed my loving care.
I continued working towards my goal of becoming a veterinarian by receiving my bachelor’s degree in Zoology and Genetics from Iowa State University and my veterinary degree from Mississippi State University, where I also met my husband, William. We later added a furry member to our family, our adorable cat Trika.
Throughout my veterinary career I have had the pleasure of working with a wide variety of medical disciplines. I interned at an exotic animals only practice, cared for working Clydesdales and even studied animals at the Lincoln Park Zoo and Shedd Aquarium in Chicago. When my husband joined the army in 2010, we were relocated to Fayetteville, NC, where I concurrently worked at a small animal practice. After my husband completed his military contract, we moved back to my hometown of Chicagoland, where we plan to stay indefinitely.
I have always respected the bond between pets and their care givers, including the end of life care they receive. While I was still a young pre-veterinary student, I had to euthanize my beloved 11 year old ferret, and I realized how peaceful and comforting a process this can be when it’s done with the utmost respect and care . As a veterinarian, I hope to pass that reassurance on to all clients with whom I have the privilege of working.
Kristina Kalivoda, DVM
I grew up in the northwest suburbs of Chicago in a family that has always valued pets as members of the family. I wasn’t entirely certain I wanted to be a veterinarian, ironically because I wasn’t sure I could handle euthanasia. I received my degree in Psychology from the University of Illinois and then took a year off to work full time in a veterinary clinic as an assistant. We had only ever had dogs growing up, and I didn’t “understand” cats at all, but it was at that clinic that the hospital cat decided to attach himself to me and show me the way.
I attended vet school at the University of Illinois the next year, graduating at the top of my class. While in vet school, I discovered a passion for working with exotic animals, and completed an internship in zoological medicine at Texas A&M University, followed by a residency in avian and exotic animal medicine at Cornell University. I did miss working with dogs and especially cats, and have spent the last few years in practice working with all species.
Along the way, I collected several cats, including my long-haired orange guy Apollo. After moving back to the Chicagoland area, Apollo started to lose weight, vomit, and drink a large amount of water. He was already in severe kidney failure at the age of five. I kept him stable and happy for almost twelve months with intensive hospice care at home. He let me do everything I needed there, but he hated the hospital, so when it came time to say goodbye to him, I decided to let him pass at home. I was so surprised by how peaceful it was for him. I am so honored now to help other families say goodbye to their beloved pets peacefully and with dignity in the comfort of their own homes.
I currently live in the northwest suburbs. I most recently said goodbye to my best buddy Oscar, an amazing brown tabby who saw me through all my schooling. I have a three-legged leopard gecko named Achilles, a cockatiel named Percival (Percy), and my little black cat Imp.
Alecia Du Charme, DVM
I was born and raised in Racine, Wisconsin, but this is my first time living back in the Midwest in over 20 years. While in my 20’s, I took a break from “real life” to travel, and wound up living in the mountains in British Columbia for several years. Living in a remote area and working to help animals inspired me to become a veterinarian. I earned a Biochemistry degree from UC Berkeley and graduated from UW Madison Veterinary School in 2011. I’ve worked in mixed-animal practice in Kansas, Wisconsin and most recently Canada. While there, I performed many euthanasias in the comfort of the pet's home, and took great comfort in helping the pets and their families through this process. I strongly believe in hospice work for people and animals, and I look forward to continuing to assist in this transition with gentleness and compassion. My dog, Leonard, is currently keeping me busy exploring the beaches and parks in the Chicagoland area.
Karen Gadberry, DVM
I grew up in the Chicago suburbs in a pet loving family. Throughout my life, I have spent countless hours loving and caring for many creatures. I always knew I wanted to give back to animals, and decided to turn my love of animals and science into a veterinary career. I graduated from veterinary school at the University of Illinois, and have worked as a general practice veterinarian in the Chicago suburbs for over 15 years. I also have a Masters in Public Health, with a focus on the spread of animal disease. Recently, I volunteered for the Village of Skokie Animal Control to develop a euthanasia program that helped minimize stress on sick and injured wildlife.
During my time in general practice, I found that one of my most important responsibilities is helping owners at the end of their pet’s life. When it was time to euthanize my Sheltie, Gwen, who had been with me since early on in veterinary school, I helped her pass peacefully in our home. I realized how comforting it was for both her and I to allow her to drift away sleeping in her favorite spot. I hope to be able to give that same comfort to other pets and their families by helping provide comfortable end of life care and a peaceful passing in their home.
Juliana Lyles, DVM
"We would like to thank Dr. Kristina for helping and being with us during time. She explained the whole procedure with compassion and care. We recommend Dr. Kristina and The Lap Of Love to all pet owners to be in the comfort of their own home."
Cindy SkelleyGrayslake, Illinois
"The level of care and compassion that Kristina provides is incredible. On what was one of the hardest days of my life she knew what to say, do, and when to let me process it all. The world is a better place because of people like Kristina. Barkley and I were lucky to have her with us on that day."
James BernathChicago, Illinois
"Dr. Alecia has a very special gift. She made a very difficult time much easier. I can't say enough good things about her. We will never forget her and the compassion she showed Oscar. Thank you Dr. Alecia....."
Susan ClayDeerfield, Illinois
"Thank you to Dr. Juliana for coming to us in our time of need. Her kindness and support helped our family through a difficult time. Her ability to help us help Martin pass without suffering as he laid his big head in my lap and went to sleep was truly a gift."
Juliann SteinbeigleHomewood, Illinois
"I awoke this morning and could not go back to sleep. Mourning the loss of our beautiful Chow Chow, Jochi, who passed onto a heavenly realm, July 1, 2017, with the help of Dr. Alecia, a beautiful angel of mercy.
Dr. Alecia was so calm and compassionate, and gave us the confidence, as the drugs were administered, that we had made the right decision. Based on certain body reactions from Jochi, she told us that the cancer most likely spread more than we had known. We learned a lot about how dogs won't show their pain but keep going as long as they can.
I know Jochi was grateful as he licked my hand while holding his paw, as the sedative was kicking in to ease his pain. We are beyond grateful to have had Dr Alecia be there, patiently with him and with us. We all cried but knew it was the right thing to do. That was so important to us, to know we did right by him.
He is with God now. We are so glad he is out of pain. Brave little soul, he lived a bit over a year with chemotherapy for lymphoma cancer.
We have little Olive, our mini Schnauzer/Dachshund mix of piss and vinegar. Dr. Alecia had her smell him after he was gone to know, too, her friend would not be coming back. She, too, is grieving. We were not sure how to deal with this either, but know, too, that this was a good decision.
Jochi was bought by our daughter, which I was told through a picture message at work. It said, "Mom! Look who we are bringing home!" I won't write what I said out loud. I walked in the door, and this 25 lb, 12 week out, black baby bear jumped on me, wrapped his stubby arms around my neck, and showered me with puppy breath kisses. That was it.
He has been our guardian ever since. We have never felt so loved and guarded by any living thing.
Ii see him running and playing in the sun and grass, chasing rabbits forever, pain free.
Thank you so much, Dr . Alecia. You are an angel, a beautiful being."
Laura and Judah DoresonAlgonquin, Illinois
"Dr. Alecia was really there for us in such a great time of need. She took to Betty right away and made us all feel so calm during a time of such sadness and despair. Even though we knew deep down we had made the right decision, it was still so hard. Hearing Dr. Alecia explain that we were making a decision filled with compassion and love helped us to let go of our guilt so we could do what was best for our Betty. She is truly a living angel and she allowed Betty to pass in her home where she felt most comfortable without any fear or pain. We are so grateful."
Pet Life and Loss Support Services
VCA Arboretum View
Wings support group
Premier Veterinary Group (Grayslake)
Working through pet loss support group
Premier Veterinary Group (Chicago)
Veterinary Specialty Center Counseling Services - Becky Murray, LPC
Blue Pearl (Skokie)
Chicago Vet. Med. Assn. Pet Loss Helpline
Blue Pearl (Northfield)
Companion Animal Related Emotions Pet Loss Helpline
Golf Rose Animal Hospital
VCA Berwyn Animal Hospital
Helping families in the following areas:
We assist families with in home pet hospice and euthanasia in and around the Chicagoland area. There is no additional fee for travel to the area bounded on the north by IL-176, on the west by IL-59, and on the south by I-88/I-290/Eisenhower Expy.
Extended Travel Areas (additional charge applies to these and surrounding areas):
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 Love700 Nicholas Blvd #310Elk Grove Village, IL 60007
This Lap of Love location is owned and operated by Dr. Juliana Lyles