South Central PA: Lancaster, Dauphin, Lebanon & York Counties
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 two 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 in White Chapel Memorial Park in Feasterville, PA.
There may be a fee if addtional 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.
My interest in veterinary medicine began my junior year of high school, when I was fortunate enough to shadow a local veterinarian as part of a school requirement. I have been in love with the veterinary profession ever since. I continue to learn more about veterinary medicine every day, and I have come to realize it is as much about supporting people as it is about helping animals. I truly enjoy that I am able to do both in my career.
Born in central New York, I grew up near Lynchburg, Virginia, where my parents still live today. While we technically moved south to accommodate my dad’s career, my parents really appreciated getting away from the “lake effect” snow and taking advantage of the warmer weather. I liked Virginia as well and chose to stay there for both college and veterinary school. After receiving a bachelor’s degree in biology at the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia, I moved to Blacksburg, Virginia, where I attended the Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine at Virginia Tech and earned both a doctor of veterinary medicine (DVM) degree and a master of public health (MPH) degree.
I recently moved to Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, an area I visited frequently in my childhood to spend holidays with extended family. Although my extended family has since moved out of the region, I am excited to be back in Harrisburg with my partner, two cats, and a princess of a dog, surrounded by such a wonderful sense of community and gorgeous landscape. When I am not working with clients and their furry loved ones, I look forward to spending time by the river and at the farmer’s market, exploring area hikes, testing local ski slopes, and finding out what other gems Pennsylvania has to offer. I also enjoy reading, listening to live music, dabbling in photography, and spending time with family.
Tigger, a third feline member of my family whom I affectionately called my “forever foster,” only lived with me for the second half of her life. She battled chronic kidney disease for much of that time. In August of 2015, when Tigger finally indicated to me it was time for her to leave this world, I decided to drive an hour with her to have a very close friend and veterinarian perform the compassionate act of euthanasia for her. The whole process of saying goodbye to Tigger ended up being more difficult for me than I anticipated, and I found it especially valuable to have someone I trusted perform the euthanasia and be there to support and comfort me afterward.
While I may be meeting you for the first time, I strive to act in ways that allow every family to feel the same level of trust, support, and comfort that I experienced at Tigger’s passing. If I can make a difficult time for you and your fur-baby the slightest bit easier, I will have done the job I set out to do.
One of the most common questions asked of me as a practicing veterinarian is “How did you know you wanted to become a veterinarian?” The simplest answer is that I love working with animals: I want to help them to live healthy and comfortable lives. I also enjoy working with people and assisting them to become more educated caregivers with their family pets.
Growing up in England and the United States, my childhood was dedicated to caring for every living creature that would cross my path. My family’s dogs, cats, gerbils, hamsters, fish, frogs and turtles absorbed my attention and affections. I continued my passion for animals by obtaining an undergraduate degree at The Pennsylvania State University, then graduating from The University of Pennsylvania with a degree in veterinary medicine. During the long hours of learning in the teaching hospital, I reflected upon the relationships that paralleled mine as a child, that enduring bond that owners and animals develop. Beyond just providing care, my education enables me to provide owners with thoughtful advice on keeping their pets comfortable throughout the breadth of their lives, from birth through maturity and well into their senior years.
After graduating, I moved to Lancaster, settling in with my husband and motley crew of rescue dogs, Knight, Ella and Karma. My professional career started at an emergency facility, helping families treat and care for their beloved pets while striving to ease the stress during times of illness and trauma. I have coupled the emergency experience with a position at a primary care veterinarian hospital, coaching owners on keeping a healthy housemate.
For me, being a vet enables me to help others foster the human-animal bond. I believe that as animals age, it becomes paramount to help ease discomfort and pain that pets may experience. I am a believer in Lap of Love because we allow people the option of offering their companions a last act of compassion, a peaceful way to say goodbye at home. Years ago, my veterinarian was able to let my family and me say goodbye to Buster, our family dog, by providing an at home euthanasia. This had a lasting and positive impact on me and my memories of my best friend.
Carling Sitterley, DVM
"We first met Dr. Carling on a day when our beloved friend Fenway, our almost 20 year old cat, had taken a turn for the worse. He had been so healthy and active and it seemed to come out of nowhere. We were grief stricken and found Lap of love through a friend. When Dr. Carling came to our house she immediately put us at ease with her gentle kindness. Our other 2 cats Maggie and Freddie wouldn’t leave her alone. They really liked the way she and her bag smelled! Fenway had been hiding in a closet all day and came right out when we called him for Dr. Carling to do her exam. After almost a week of tough days, Fenway had perked up on the morning of her visit, and neither of us was ready to say goodbye to our friend that afternoon. Dr. Carling told us that he had days, maybe weeks, left to live. We decided that we could not make the decision that day. She was wonderful. She answered all our questions, and helped us to process what was going to happen in the coming days/weeks. We said our goodbyes and made sure we knew her schedule because we knew she needed to be the one to help us let go of our Fenway. Sadly, the next few days, Fenway deteriorated further. We realized that we had to make the decision and scheduled Dr. Carling to come back on Saturday afternoon. The way she handled the whole experience was amazing. She knew just what to do and say and helped us to take care of our other two kitties who were going to have a difficult time dealing with the loss of their big brother. On his favorite corner bench between two sun-lit windows, Fenway went peacefully with us by his side and, despite the tears and deep sense of loss, we would not have changed a thing. We were grateful to have had 3 more days with him before we had to ask Dr. Carling to return. We loved him and thanked him for being our dear friend and Erik’s constant companion. I can’t imagine how difficult it must be to do what Dr. Carling does and do it in such a way that the family is left feeling good about their decision. We saved our friend from a dreaded 25-minute ride to the vet and a cold metal table for his final exam. He would have been traumatized, and we would have always felt guilty if his flame had gone out surrounded by the fear and unease of the vet’s office. We are so grateful to Dr. Carling for making this possible in our home, in his favorite spot, surrounded by all of his loving family. We will be forever grateful for the dignity, compassion and grace that Dr. Carling provided for Fenway’s last moments with us in his home."
Dawn LassenHarrisburg, Pennsylvania
"Dr. Carling was very gentle and kind. Our family was very distraught over having to make the decision to say goodbye to Abby. Dr. Carling explained everything and was so gentle and kind with Abby. This was our first experience doing this at our home and it was very peaceful as compared with going to the vet. Most importantly - it was the best thing for Abby - she was calm and at peace with my daughter holding her and the rest of us surrounding her."
Kris FrankelElizabethtown, Pennsylvania
"We were so fortunate to have such a compassionate veterinarian assist with our Lily girl's passing. Dr. Sitterley was patient and kind during this time of sorrow. It is so hard to let go, however, she made the experience beautiful and peaceful for all of us. She allowed us the time with Lily to cry and hug and love. The in-home experience allows your pet to feel relaxed and comfortable in their own surroundings. And you have the feeling they will always be there. Thank you all so much at Lap of Love. It was a wonderful experience."
Stephanie MnichManheim, Pennsylvania
"I struggled for a few weeks when my 13 year old Bouvier, Humphrey could not lift himself up or walk steady. After the Vet appointment and one week of rallying with meds, I just knew it was time. My Vet recommended Lap of Love and Dr. Carling could not have been more compassionate. I now know I made the right decision and Humphrey's send off was so beautiful. Thank you Dr. Carling for being you!"
Maria MarcinkoSteelton, Pennsylvania
"Thank you for your kindness and help making Dakota comfortable on Friday. Thanks also for your thoughtful tribute to her. You are very caring and I’m so thankful for you and how you noticed the special things about Dakota :)
I would highly recommend you to anyone who finds themself in my position."
"From the first call I made to Lap of Love until Scrappy’s final moment, Lap of love gave me the comfort in knowing Scrappy would spend her last day with people that cared. Gail was very kind and comforting when I needed to make this decision. Dr. Jo Parr was a blessing from God in making this unbearable day bearable. She brought peace to me and my family and am greatful. Thank you so much."
Danielle HeddingsPalmyra, Pennsylvania
Pet Life and Loss Support Services
Lancaster: Brenda Edwards, CELEBRATING THE BOND: Grief Recovery Programs
Lancaster: Pet Emergency Treatment Services, Inc (PETS)
Red Lion: Tiffany Ayres, Patton Veterinary Hospital
York: Animal Emergency and Referral Center of York
Philadelphia: Veterinary Grief Counseling Program
Mechanicsburg: Rossmoyne Animal Emergency Trauma Center
Harrisburg: Janice Newcomer, Group Leader, Associated Psychologists
Gaithersburg: VCA Veterinary Referral Associates
Hummelstown: Katryn Lavanture
York: Elizabeth S. Revell, Ph.D.
Day By Day Pet Caregiver Support Circles
Helping families in the following areas:
We proudly serve the South Central PA area, including Lancaster, Dauphin, Lebanon & York counties. 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 LovePO Box 5024Lancaster, PA 17606-5024
WGAL News 8: Veterinarians Provide End-of-Life Care at Pet's Home