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.
For pets over 30 pounds, we may ask your assistance moving your loved one if cremation has been requested. If additional help is needed outside what is available in the home, we may request that the crematory come to assist us. In this case, an additional fee will be needed to cover their charge.
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 or in a short amount of time, so we do our best to accommodate same day appointments with a few hours notice.
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!
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 came into our lives as we planned to say goodbye to our beloved 17 1/2 year old dachshund. She came to our home and immediately embraced each member of the family with a warm hug. She gave my precious Princess lots of love while she explained the euthanasia process and purpose to all of us. She offered my 7 year old sister a coloring book and age appropriate explanation of what was going to happen. Saying goodbye to my Prin was one of the hardest decisions I have had to make thus far in life. But, Dr. Melanie offered reassurance and a sense of confirmation that this is what was best for my baby. She invited family members who seemed distant to talk about what they were feeling and reassured them that what they were feeling was normal. Dr. Melanie and her LVT Dwight offered a sense of light and reassurance that this was best for our Prin. They welcomed and loved on our other dogs as they said goodbye to their sibling- even our Chow Chow (who is typically terrified of strangers) showed them both love! Dr. Melanie and Dwight both became a part of our family that day. We rest assured that our Princess crossed the rainbow bridge peacefully while surrounded by people and pet friends that love her."
Valeska LaPlancheSaratoga Springs, NY
"Thank you so much Dr. Melanie. You have a wonderful gift and you are an angel for doing the work that you do - and doing it so well. Your personality, warmth and professionalism helped us through a very difficult time - you also give
great hugs! Thank you, ~ Liz and Brian Mack"
Liz MackAmsterdam, NY
"Thank you for assisting us in the way you did. I also wanted to thank you for the card, that was so thoughtful of you!"
Kathryn BullisDuanesburg, NY
"Thank you Dr. Melanie ❤️"
Darwin and Kouadio DavisAlbany New York, NY
"Dr. Melanie came to our apartment in Albany yesterday and put our old cat to sleep. This was an incredible experience for me and my son. Our cat had been in our family for 16 years. Dr. Melanie arrived and talked with us about the situation. It was so great because when I initially called I gave the information to someone who answered the phone and it was obvious that that person had talked at length with Dr. Melanie about our cat and what had been going on with his health. She was able to make him feel very relaxed. She put him to sleep while he was in my lap, perfectly relaxed! He didn't suffer at all and basically went to sleep. The whole process was seamless. Dr. Melanie is an insightful, knowledgeable, intuitive and caring Vet. She's fabulous and she made this very sad time in our lives as easy as it could be. This is the best way to do this. It avoids the anxiousness created by having to transport the pet to the Vet office etc. Thank you Dr. Melanie. I'll never forget you. You are a gem. XXXXX"
Darwin DavisAlbany, NY
"Dr. Melanie was phenomenal! She made one of the hardest days of our lives a little more comfortable. Lucas was able to go so peacefully. Thank you!"
Chelsea and James SullivanCohoes, 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
To make the experience as peacful as possible, credit card over the phone (before the appointment) is generally preferred. We are also more than happy to accept a check (made to 'Lap of Love') or cash during our time with you.
Most pet insurance companies cover Lap of Love services. We are happy to help complete any paperwork needed to submit for reimbursement.
We also accept Care Credit.
Lap of LoveP.O. Box 2736Glenville, NY 12325
News Channel 13: More pet owners choose in-home euthanasia