North Jersey & 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 cherry 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 scattered in a memorial garden.
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.
Sandra Simko, DVM
For as long as I can remember, I have dreamed of becoming a veterinarian. This desire was further encouraged by my parents who allowed me to have a wide variety of pets, including dogs, cats, snakes, birds, ferrets, lizards, fish, and even a tortoise while growing up!
This dream was realized when I received my Bachelor of Arts in Biological Sciences and Criminal Justice from Rutgers University, and my Doctor of Veterinary Medicine and Master of Public Health concurrently from the University of Florida. Following graduation I pursued a one-year internship in small animal medicine and surgery.
One aspect of veterinary medicine that I love is the human-animal bond. When I was 2 years old a kitten literally walked into my home while my mom was standing at the door. Ultimately my family decided she could stay and Tina became a part of my family. I’ll never forget my parents calling me at Rutgers, 19 years later, and telling me that Tina was not doing well. I went home to spend some of her last days together with her. The pain of losing Tina was great, but the memories we shared will never be forgotten. It is this love I have for Tina that made me truly understand the strength of the human-animal bond.
I have witnessed time and again, families looking to do everything they can for their beloved pet. Unfortunately there are times when there is little or nothing that can be done to fix or cure their friend, but there are often options that can provide comfort and improve quality of life, even if only for a short period of time. Although this is a difficult experience for families and tough decisions need to be made, I believe hospice care and euthanasia are some of the greatest services that veterinary medicine has to offer, and can be a relieving option when a pet’s quality of life is declining.
As a part of Lap of Love, I strive to make difficult times like these as peaceful, stress-free, and comfortable as possible. I reside in Northern NJ with my husband and two cats, Max and Lulu. In my spare time I can typically be found cuddling with my kitties, spending time with my family, or doing anything outdoors.
"Dr. Sandra was so sweet and gentle, not just with our Yorkie, Rocky, but with us. She explained everything clearly, gave us all the time we wanted, and made sure Rocky’s passing was completely peaceful and painless. What an amazing gift to give to our little dog and to us! To have him just go to sleep in familiar surroundings while we petted him was the kindest way to let him go. Even the Lap of Love folks I spoke with on the phone were so helpful and sympathetic, very patient with me when I would sometimes start to cry. I can’t say enough good things about Lap of Love. For a beloved pet, there is no more beautiful way to cross the Rainbow Bridge."
Nancy T.Glen Ridge, New Jersey
"During the very difficult time to make a decision that was so overwhelming, I contacted Lap of Love 2 days before my ultimate choice. The people who answered my questions with such a positive and calm voice started me on the 2 day journey. I looked online to see the testimonials and not a one was bad and all very comforting. I called them the morning I had to make my choice and Dr. Sandy said she could come. I met her outside just to know what would happen next. The first thing she did was hug me and said, "first tell me about Winkle". Such compassion in the first few seconds of meeting her, but like meeting a close friend. She heard my story about Winkle who was just shy of her July 4th birthday and would have been 15 years old. A sweet dachsund who played peek-a-boo when I asked "where is my baby girl?" covering her nose every time. She then told me what would happen. She came in the house, spoke to my son and brother, got on the floor and started to talk to Winkle. She said we can take as long as we want and we went through the process. As a human, I can see how compassionate it is to make this decision but a human can talk and verbalize when they are ready. Making the decision for Winkle was excruciating since she could not tell me she was tired and wanted to go home. Dr. Sandy put Winkle in a basket, covered her in a blanket and took great care taking her to her next stop. Sandy has been in touch with me over the few weeks since and I sincerely appreciate her love, compassion and care she provided to my pet and my family."
Linda KraytonWest Caldwell, New Jersey
"Nothing can be more stressful and heartbreaking than having to end your pet's life, even when you know it is the right thing to do. The minute I met Dr. Sandra, we knew we had made the right choice in helping us do it. Not only does she have great compassion for the pet, she was incredibly warm and kind to us as well. The procedure was gentle and peaceful. Thank you Dr. Sandra."
George TyrrelWayne, New Jersey
"Dr. Simko and Lap of Love are a gift from God. From the first phone call when I spoke to Victoria, to our meeting Dr. Simko in our home, this sad and difficult time was somehow made very beautiful.
Dr. Simko is so loving and so caring. She is so very, very gentle. Emme was able to stay on the couch, in her bed, covered with her blanket with her upper body and head resting in my lap. Her passing was so very peaceful. My mom and I are very grateful to Dr. Simko who cared for Emme at her most vulnerable time in such a loving and gentle manner. Thank you Dr. Simko.
Thank you Lap of Love. A pet Hospice and in-home euthanasia was a very special idea. Thank you for bringing this idea to fruition and thank you to all the doctors who participate in this program and minister to our pets."
Karen McGovernBloomfield, New Jersey
"One of the hardest things as a 'pet parent' is to know when it's time to make that most difficult of calls. I am SO glad we were fortunate enough to find Dr. Simko. From the minute she first approached Mickey and spoke to him so kindly and sincerely, I knew we were in good hands. She was so very patient, explaining everything and giving us plenty of time for each step. You can genuinely feel the love and compassion she has for pets and for the people who own them. Mickey was calm and relaxed and never had a moment's fear or distress. Even though he was a big boy, she managed his body with respect and loving care. It's truly a gift to be able to provide a service like this to pet owners -- Dr. Simko does that with great love and compassion and I would recommend her to ANYONE who has to go through this very hard time. Thank you, Dr. Simko!"
Wendy AseaHawthorne, New Jersey
"We could not have endured Chancey's final moments without Dr. Sandra. She helped us cope with an incredibly difficult situation, methodically and empathetically explaining everything.. She was everything we could hope for and more."
Robert and Leah IslerFair Lawn, New Jersey
Pet Life and Loss Support Services
Oradell Animal Hospital in Paramus
Animal Emergency & Referral Associates in Fairfield
Garden State Veterinary Specialists in Tinton Falls
Red Bank Veterinary Hospital in Tinton Falls
Alliance Emergency Veterinary Clinic in Randolph
Animerge in Raritan
Newton Veterinary Hospital in Newton
Westfield Veterinary Group in Westfield
Oradell Animal Hospital Pet Bereavement Support Group
Red Bank Veterinary Hospital Pet Loss Support Group
Helping families in the following areas:
We proudly serve the Northern New Jersey area. Due to the expansive area covered, there may be a travel fee of $50-$75 based on your location.
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 Love549 Pompton Ave.Suite 227Cedar Grove, NJ 07009