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 came to our home in Petersburg NY to help us say goodbye to our very much loved Roxie baby. Dr Melanie was caring and patient.
Roxie crossed the rainbow bridge on 12/21/16 as I held her on my lap with her other mommy petting her sweet little head and her brothers Creo and bandit giving her comfort. When she took her last breath bandit (her companion of 10 years) closed his eyes and laid his head on her.
We miss you very much Roxie baby. You were one of a kind! Thank you Roxie for being the boss for so many years!
We thank dr Melanie from the bottom of our hearts for your help and support in this very difficult time.
This testimony is so very late in posting because every time I tried previously I could see because of the tears."
April BartlettPetersburg, NY
"From the moment I met Dr. Melanie at the door and she hugged me I knew I had made the right decision. Compassion and caring does not even come close to an accurate description. She made the most difficult time in our lives much more bearable. She explained everything and made us feel assured before she did anything. She talked to our beloved Hercules as if he was her own. I know that kind of genuine care and concern is special. I feel truly blessed that our almost 13(missed by a few days) years old love, yellow lab Hercules had the opportunity to rest in his favorite chair surrounded by family to say goodbye. He was a wonderful creature we had the privilege of spending almost 13 years with and loving us all with his whole heart. He taught us all what real unconditional love truly is all about. I will be forever grateful for Dr. Mel she allowed our beautiful Hercules the dignity and respect that he so deserved after giving his all to us for so many years.
With our loving hearts,
Tammy & Brian Bik and family"
Tammy BikAmsterdam, NY
"I can't thank Lap of Love and Dr Melanie Santspree enough for their kindness and support. As hard as it was to say good bye to my special boy, being able to do it at home with such a wonderfully kind and sympathetic vet was a gift. Thank you."
Mary WhittredgeBallston Spa, NY
"There are not enough words to describe how thankful and how grateful I am that Dr. Melanie came to the house to send my girl Brinkley to the bridge. From the first hug until the last hug, she made such a difficult decision, not easier, but much better to cope with. She made a heartbreaking situation easier and she was understanding and so compassionate. Her genuineness speaks volumes the minute you meet her. Her love and compassion shine through in the difficult work she does. She explains everything from the minute she walks in the door. Its a gift and its recognized very early on as you talk to her. As heart shattering as the decision was, she made it easier for me to say goodbye to my heart and soul Golden Retriever, Brinkley. Brinks and I had a very very special bond. I rescued her at ten weeks old and we had many many years together so saying goodbye was very difficult but Dr. Melanie made it easier to cope. There is not enough gold in the world to say how grateful I am that she came to the house yesterday. I will recommend her to all of my friends who have animals. This is how everyone should say goodbye to their furbabies. She is the best!!! Brinkley went peacefully, and at home with people who loved her and I am so glad Dr. Melanie was there to help us send her to the bridge."
Donna SullivanAlbany, NY
"“Some people come into our lives and quickly go. Some stay for a while, leave footprints on our hearts, and we are never, ever the same”
There are no words to thank Dr. Mel for her compassion, care & kindness as Tian Tian took the last part of his journey here with us. As hard as it was, Dr. Mel made everything so much gentler & easier to go through. Dr. Mel gave Tian the most gentle care as he went to sleep- in my arms.
She was so caring not just for Tian Tian & myself but for his buddies, Tai Shan & Jake Shan. Tian Tian's transition was gentle & peaceful . It was what we wanted for Tian Tian as a gift of love & Dr. Mel gave us the gift. Dr. Mel came & quietly left leaving footprints on our hearts."
Lynn OsterbergOlmstedville, NY
"We knew the end was near for our beloved Lexi. We debated the best way to handle such a painful, delicate situation. After much discussion, it was decided that we would have someone come to the house to allow Lexi to pass peacefully, with her family, in her own home. After some online research, we found Lap of Love, and subsequently Dr. Melanie Santspree. This was such a blessing.
Dr. Mel came to our house and was so warm, compassionate, and comforting. She took what was probably the most difficult thing we've ever been through and made it as peaceful as possible. She was only at our house for an hour and a half, but me, my boyfriend, and Lexi all felt such a strong bond with her. There was a connection made that we were certainly not anticipating. It was so theraputic to talk to her beforehand as she assured us we were doing the right thing. We enjoyed telling her stories about Lexi and seeing that she genuinely appreciated hearing them. She allowed Lexi to pass peacefully, with grace and dignity, in one of her favorite spots in our home, with her family. For that, we will forever be indebted to Dr. Mel. It takes a truly special person to do the work that Dr. Mel does, and she is just that.
Jay and I give our highest recommendation possible to Dr. Melanie. She's a wonderful person who helped us through an immensely personal and painful situation. She handled it with class and compassion. Thank you Dr. Mel."
Angel BoyerLatham, 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