Central New Jersey
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 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 you 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 buried by the crematory at a pet cemetery.
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 was born and raised in Arizona and even though it's a lot of desert, I fell in love with all the wildlife and domestic animals that I encountered. I was fascinated by them and their way of life at an early age. I remember my parents taking me on trips to zoos, aquariums, farms, and national parks. I was always looking for the animals; wanting to learn more.
It was at this young age I knew I wanted to be a veterinarian. My interest in animals has taken me across the country. I graduated with my Bachelor's from the University of Arizona (GO CATS!) and headed to Orlando, Florida to work as a Marine Mammal Intern at The Seas, EPCOT at Walt Disney World. I had my sights set on becoming a marine mammal veterinarian at the time. After this, I worked as a veterinary technician, took graduate courses in conservation biology, and worked my way into veterinary school.
I graduated a University of Florida gator in 2011 with my Aquatic Animal Health certificate and went into small animal practice. I stayed in Florida for 2 years practicing small animal medicine where I got to be part of our house call service of which were mostly in-home euthanasias. Having to personally struggle with leaving my own cat of 17 years at my vet's clinic after saying goodbye, I felt obligated to take these house calls and provide this service in the home where the whole family is comfortable.
I moved to New Jersey to be closer to my husband's family in 2013. While starting Lap of Love in New Jersey, I worked in general practice in Woodbridge township for 2.5 years and in 2016 I left to pursue end-of-life care full time. I am excited and grateful to be able to provide the Lap of Love service here in New Jersey.
Shannon Skevakis, DVM
"I would recommend this service it hurts to put your pet down but they make it easy."
Johnny BraveBelleville, New Jersey
"We had been through five combat deployments, the passing of friends and close family, the births of new family members, a new life with a woman who loved us and three hurricanes. All through it we survived together and would walk on the beach to refresh our souls. Then, she stopped eating regularly . . . while her eyes still twinkled, she did not have the energy for long walks but simply snuggled next to us or at our feet. Hardly a lap dog at 98 lbs, suddenly you could see her ribs and hear an occasional yelp when she got up to come over for an impromptu head or belly rub.
Trips to the vet and hospital stays confirmed a diagnosis. Nothing prepares you for the answers you don't want to hear. Even these great and caring case hardened doctors had tears in their eyes as they gave the news and read our faces. This was one exceptional dog and she had touched so many lives. But it was time to go home.
My long time companion was suffering from the last stages of cancer and I knew it was only my selfishness that was keeping her in a clearly compromised place. She really deserved so much better, but the concept of letting her go was so painful that it took me time to do the right thing. I just could not imagine a day without her unconditional love in my life. We had been through so much. . . for so long. One of her best friends flew in to provide care and comfort, day and night but it was time to go home. She took her for one last car ride, walk along the lapping waves, looking at the sea gulls she could no longer chase. I called and, while it was out of the area for Dr. Shannon, she quickly agreed to meet. My dog loved the porch of our house, the smell of the ocean in the air and call of the birds above. That is where we said goodbye. Surrounded by friends and family she painless closed her eyes and moved on from her pain. I never expected this to be a great experience but looking back it was really one of the best pivotal moments in my life.
What a poem from a long time ago and it is true.
Tis a fearful thing to love what death can touch -
a fearful thing to love, to hope, to dream, to be -
and, oh, to lose -
To remember this brings painful joy.
Tis a human thing, love -
a holy thing to love what death has touched.
I thank Dr. Shannon for such compassionate care and understanding. You did a great thing that day. I never would have considered this option this way without the fantastic advise of some great friends. She left, as I one day hope to leave, moving from this place to another while stretched out in a comfortable place, surrounded and held by loved ones, with the ocean's salty breeze across my shaded but sun filled face and my music playing in the background.
Far better than at some clinical veterinary office and, in reality and in retrospect, the very best way to go."
Chuck GrinnellSEASIDE HEIGHTS, New Jersey
"Dr Shannon was very caring and compassionate. She explained everything and didn’t rush. She also said I could reach out to her if I just needed to talk."
Regina YagerPlainsboro, New Jersey
"Dr. Shannon was a true gift to us. She was so kind and loving, and made this difficult experience a loving and gentle one.
Thank you, Dr. Shannon!"
Patty HeppenstallMendham, New Jersey
"Just a few days ago we had to lay our beautiful 16 year old Lab Max to rest. Dr. Shannon arrived and I felt a sense of relief knowing Max was no longer going to be in any kind of pain or suffering. She is the most caring, loving, compassionate person who took the time to talk with us and to reassure us we were doing the right thing with Max. I am so happy to have met her and knowing she would take such good care of my baby until we receive his ashes. We have another dog, Sam, a lab whom she said to look after being he just lost his brother. Sam has never been a without a brother and she told us what to look for...all I can say is Lap of Love is a very loving establishment and I would recommend them to anyone who has to make the most difficult decision in their life... to put an animal to rest.
Thank you Dr. Shannon for your king, loving ways
Darlene DonnamariaToms River, New Jersey
"We had Dr. Shannon come to the house today to assist our dog Guinness to the Rainbow Bridge. I just wanted to write to tell you how impressed my husband and I were with the service. Having a in-home send off was more expensive, but well worth the cost. Our boy was calm, comfortable, and had his dog and cat buddies there to say goodbye. Dr. Shannon was empathic and very clear on the process. She seemed to understand my need to chat and knew when to give us a minute. I was very impressed on how she handled transporting Guinness's body. He was moved respectfully and even wrapped in a blanket. Dr. Shannon's kindness and professionalism made a very sorrowful event easier. Thank you for your excellent service."
T GTrenton, New Jersey
Pet Life and Loss Support Services
Petfriends, Inc. - NJ
BERGEN COUNTY: Oradell Animal Hospital
ESSEX COUNTY: Animal Emergency & Referral Associates
MERCER COUNTY: NorthStar VETS
MIDDLESEX COUNTY: Garden State Veterinary Specialists
MONMOUTH COUNTY: Garden State Veterinary Specialists
MORRIS COUNTY: Alliance Emergency Veterinary Clinic
MONMOUTH COUNTY: Red Bank Veterinary Hospital
OCEAN COUNTY: Jersey Shore Veterinary Emergency Service
SOMERSET COUNTY: Animerge
NorthStar Veterinary Services
Red Bank Veterinary Hospital Pet Loss Support Group
Oradell Animal Hospital Pet Bereavement Support Group
Pet Memorial Services
Helping families in the following areas:
Proudly serving Central New Jersey including: Middlesex County, parts of Somerset County, and parts of Mercer county
Extended Travel areas (Additional $50-100 may apply): Burlington County, Essex County, Hudson County, Hunterdon County, Monmouth County, Morris County, Ocean County, Union County, parts of Mercer County.
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 Love2227 US Hwy 1 #290North Brunswick, NJ 08902
New Jersey Online: Compassionate care for pets - owners turn to hospice