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!
"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
"We brought Brewster into this world with love and joy, and we are so grateful that Dr. Melanie let him leave with such love and comfort.
THE STAFF: Upon contact, the staff at lapoflove was so loving, caring, and kind. They were so helpful to expedite services, so our beloved pet did not have to suffer.
DR. MELANIE: There are not enough words or big enough paper to describe the way we feel about this wonderful person and the comfort she brought into our home and into our lives. She made the most unbearable situation, feel so special and we are so incredibly grateful.
Vern & Sherry O'Brien"
Sherry O'BrienBroadalbin, NY
"Dr. Melanie Santspree was the the best. We could not have asked for a better person to help us with Frank. She treated Frank like he was her own, and was very gentle and loving with him. We cannot say enough good things about her and the way she handled everything."
Shad HopsonBallston Spa, NY
"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
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