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. Mel was awesome! She was very comforting and made
the process much easier for us. She took the time to explain
everything to us and spent time talking with us and giving us
the time we needed with Tiki. I would definitely recommend
her to anyone thinking of using Lap of Love."
Tami GugliemelliAmsterdam, NY
"Dr. Melanie from Lap of Love took such good care of us and our Kitty Boy on the sad day he had to leave us. She consoled us all and made us feel as comfortable as possible. I am so grateful our little guy was able to pass at home in the comfort of his favorite spot with his Mom and Dad. He was stress-free and went very peacefully. Melanie listened to everything we said about Socks and wrote a beautiful memorial post for him based on all the things we told her about Socks. She really cared and took an interest in our kitty. Melanie’s presence really made the whole process easier on everyone involved. We are just so grateful for Melanie and Lap of Love."
Meghan RosebeckSelkirk, NY
"My family and I wanted to express our sincere appreciation for the wonderful, heartfelt care that Melanie Santspree DVM showed us during a very difficult time for us and our beloved Georgia (aka) Georgia Bean!! Melanie helped us realize we were doing the right thing for our sweet, precious Georgia! Even though it is so hard to let go of your pet who has been a part of the family for the past 11 years, she knew that it was the best, most selfless thing we could do for Georgia. With Melanie's knowledge and genuine sympathy, she advised us, based on her experience and things she has seen, it was the right time to say goodbye to Georgia.
Melanie was wonderful and helped us through the entire procedure. Georgia passed to the Rainbow Bridge without any problems at all!!! She passed peacefully at home surrounded by her loved ones!! Georgia knew she was loved and when she needed her family the most, we were all there for her!! Thanks to Melanie, we felt we did the right thing and had complete confidence in her!!! She took care of everything so beautifully!! I would highly recommend Melanie during you and your pet's time of need!! Thank you so much Melanie!! My family and I are so grateful you were here for Georgia and us!!"
Shellani BrownLatham, NY
"We are very thankful for Dr. Melanie for helping us to say goodbye to Abby in a loving, beautiful, peaceful way in our own home where we all could be with her as she crossed over."
Geri WhiteMiddleburgh, NY
"Dr. Melanie Santspree was a godsend. She was kind and gentle, and facilitated the peaceful and even beautiful parting that our beloved Marlee deserved after more than 16 years of dedication to her family."
"Dr. Mel helped us with the passing of our beloved Max, a Pit Bull Boxer mix dog. Her warmth and compassion made his passing much easier for us; we are grateful that she took the time to talk about her experiences with her own dogs, and reassure us that a peaceful sleep at home surrounded by loved ones is the last gift we can give to our animals."
Sudhir KhetanAlbany, 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
DVM360: I am an angel of death
News Channel 13: More pet owners choose in-home euthanasia