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.
Let us introduce you to the amazing hospice veterinarians in your area.
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!
Melanie Santspree, DVM
"Dr. Melanie, We weren't expecting to see you so soon after Abby's passing, but here we were. We would like to thank you for helping our beautiful girl cross over. Your kindness and respect during this difficult time were so helpful. We would like to also thank Dwight, your assistant who came with you. Together we all walked with Lyyli as her Circle of life on Mother Earth closed. She crossed over bathed in love and dignity to her rebirth on the other side.
Thank you- Tom, Geri and Carson (Missy and Dreamer too)"
Geri WhiteMiddleburgh, NY
"Dr. Melanie was so kind and patient as she guided us through saying goodbye to our Booka. We are so grateful we found her."
Becky & Mike Ellsworth-WlazloBuskirk, NY
"Dr Melanie and her assistant were absolutely amazing. Confirming our suspicion of what Lucky was dealing with. She explained everything so well and it all fit into place. Lucky trusted her as soon as they met and so did we. She assured us that we were doing the right thing for Lucky. It was so nice to see him relax and become peaceful before passing. He went around to each of us then laid on his bed before she even started. He was ready and he was relieved. She was so kind and loving with Lucky and with us. I am so glad that this service was available to us and we cannot thank her enough."
Theresa RougiaGalway, NY
"To say thank you to Dr. Melanie for the gift she gave us and our sweet girl Neve would be an incredible understatement.
While there will never be words to express our gratitude to her, Dr. Melanie will have a very special place in our hearts and that spot will be kept there right along our beloved Neve forever.
While not under happy circumstances, we feel very fortunate to have met Dr. Melanie and watch her work. She gives something to pet owners that I can imagine no one else being able to give. She gave us love, comfort and a shoulder to cry on without even knowing us or our dog. For that we will forever be in her debt.
Keep up your good work and know that we will never be able to thank you in a way that would express how you helped us through one of most difficult things we've ever had to do.
Jennifer and Joe Yanazzo"
Jennifer and Joe YanazzoMalta, NY
"Dear Melanie, I thank you so much for your compassion, guidance, and time spent on the phone with me before and still now ⚘ regarding my sweet little girl Lexy. Thank you for your ,warmth and comfort in helping me and my sweet girl. Forever Thankful⚘⚘⚘"
Debra TurnerSchenectady, NY
"Dr. Mel was amazing. She made everyone in the house feel comfortable, and reassured us that we were making the right decision and why she though it was the right decision. It is easy to see how much she loves animals. She treated Lilly with so much love and kindness. It is a hard decision, but it was comforting knowing that Dr. Mel was there with us."
Amanda CarrollFonda, 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