Albany & 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 with an engraved nameplate and will be returned to your primary care veterinarian within three 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 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.
Melanie Santspree, DVM
From a very young age when I grew up I wanted to become a veterinarian. Animals were drawn to me, and even the most grumpy kitty would let me evoke a few purrs. After growing up in the small upstate New York town of Loudonville, I attended Sarah Lawrence College to pursue the unusual combination of english, studio arts, and science. After spending some time to truly considering my calling, I returned to my childhood dream of becoming a veterinarian. I spent time milking cows, working with horses, and cleaning kennels to gain experience. I graduated from Cornell University with a bachelors in animal science and subsequently attended Michigan State University earning my doctorate in veterinary medicine in 2011.
After graduation I returned to upstate New York and worked for five years in general practice to gain insight into the most challenging parts of what it means to truly love your pet. It was during this time I realized that even in general practice my passion always gravitated towards caring for the elderly pet. I aspired to help families make the difficult decision of when it was time to let go.
Through the painful loss of my own pets, and recent loss of my mother in hospice, I learned so much about how hard and complicated that journey can become for anyone. In many ways the most important appointment is the one when the difficult decision has been made to love your beloved pet the best way you know how- by letting them go to ease their suffering. I am honored and humbled to be able to become a part of the journey we take with our beloved companions with the dignified, painless, and loving passing they deserve- at home, in their favorite bed, or on their owner’s lap.
I have decided to dedicate my life to providing the most comfortable care for the geriatric or sick pet, and the most respectful and painless passing possible. My goal for you- for your family- is to preserve the life time of amazing memories that comes from the intimate bond you have when you love a pet. By providing this gift you honor your pet's life, and you honor the treasured memories they will always leave behind in your hearts. I am grateful and honored to join the Lap of Love family serving the upstate New York area with my five year old son. I enjoy spending time with my family, painting, drawing, music, exercise, reading, and traveling when I have time!
"Dr. Melanie, by far is the best Veterinarian I have ever met. She had so much love, compassion and caring. She came to my house on October 7, 2017 to help my Shelby cross over the Rainbow Bridge. She showed up and immediately upon coming into my home, hugged me and my family and friends who had gathered around to say their final goodbye's to Shelby. She assured me that Shelby was ready to cross over the Rainbow Bridge, as I had doubts. She got down in the floor and loved on Shelby for a long time before and after administering the first shot to relax her. Dr. Mel spent over an Hour and Half at my home while I cried and grieved over Shelby reassuring me and comforting me during my loss. And she allowed ample time for me to spend with her during all this time she was here. She gave me a lock of her hair that she carefully cut for me and also a paw print of Shelby. She has sent Texts, a sympathy card and many condolences to me and my family since our loss of our precious Shelby. I could not have asked for a better Vet to come help our Shelby cross over the Rainbow Bridge."
Linda IngallsRotterdam, NY
"Dr. Melanie came to my home in Upstate New York on a cool Saturday morning and she was so very compassionate, professional and loving towards not only me, my family, friends but also my fur baby Shelby. She got down in the floor and "loved" on Shelby before administering the first shot to relax her. Reassuring me the entire time that everything would be Ok, and that Shelby was indeed ready to cross over the Rainbow Bridge as I had my doubts, even though deep down I knew, but didn't want to believe it. In my eyes, Dr. Melanie is the best of the best. She has sent me texts to check on me, wrote a beautiful tribute on her wall and sent a beautiful sympathy card to us, since sending Shelby over the Rainbow Bridge on 10/7/2017. She allowed me to spend as much time as I needed with Shelby, before, during and after. She then carefully wrapped her in a blanket, hugging me one last time and wishing me well before leaving assuring me she would take care of Shelby and would hand deliver her to the crematorium. I received my Shelby's ashes today 10/16/2017 much sooner than expected in a beautiful wooden box. Shelby and I had a very close bond with one another and she saw that immediately. Dr. Mel is like no other veterinarian I have ever met, the love and compassion she shows the family and the fur babies shows that she was meant to do this.
Thank you Dr. Melanie for all the Love, Compassion and Caring you have shown to me, my family and my Shelby during this time.
"Dr. Melanie was so amazing and such a peaceful presence during one of the most difficult times of my life. She made the entire process as peaceful as possible. I am so grateful for what she does for families in this difficult decision and would never do this any other way. It allows the pet to pass with dignity and stress free. God bless you and the other doctors who allow us to give our pets the best right up to the very end."
Nicole Cohenschenectady, NY
"We could not have asked for a better person than Dr. Melanie to assist us with this very emotional time in letting our beloved Max go. My family was truly touched at the fact that Dr. Melanie listened to every word and every story we shared. She remembered it all well enough to post a very touching and heartfelt tribute to Max on Facebook. Dr. Melanie and the Lap of Love staff was amazing. The kindness and sympathy showed in everyone's words. Their guidance through this emotional time has given us such peace in knowing that we did what was best for Max."
Alexis MeeksWynantskill, NY
"Making the decision to let Gracie go was incredibly hard. We are so glad to have had someone as kind, patient and compassionate as Dr. Mel here to help her and us. She made a very sad and stressful time easier to bear."
Kathi and Dan RabideauBallston Spa, NY
"Dr Mel was fabulous; so comforting and compassionate at this difficult time. Her and her assistant helped us through this process and were truly respectful and considerate of my boy."
Barbara BeersEarlton, NY
Pet Life and Loss Support Services
The Companion Animal Bereavement Group, through Upstate Veterinary Specialties
The Northway Animal Emergency Clinic
ASPCA of Upstate NY in Queensbury
Upstate Veterinary Specialities
The Capital District Veterinary Referral Hospital
Cornell University Pet Loss Support Hotline
(518) 374-3944, ext. 101
Pet Bereavement - Animal Protective Foundation
Mohawk Hudson Humane Society
Out of the Pits
Helping families in the following areas:
We proudly serve the Albany areas including some or all of the following counties: Albany, Fulton, Greene, Montgomery, Schnectady, Schoharie, Rensselaer, Saratoga, Warren, Washington and Columbia. Due to the expansive area covered, there may be a travel fee of $30 - $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 LoveP.O. Box 2736Glenville, NY 12325
News Channel 13: More pet owners choose in-home euthanasia