Southeastern PA: Bucks, Chester & Montgomery 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 rosewood urn with an engraved nameplate and will be returned to you within two weeks directly at the crematory in West Chester or by mail.
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 a pet cemetery.
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.
Julie Willenkin, DVM
Growing up in Lancaster, PA, I had at least 3 dogs by my side at any given time. I’m an only child, so dogs have quite literally been my siblings since the day I was born. Despite my inherent love for dogs (and cats!), I differ from most veterinarians in that I did not know that I wanted to be a veterinarian until the end of my freshman year in college at the University of Delaware. Once I knew that it was what I not only wanted, but needed, to do, I switched my major from marketing, and took additional veterinary science courses every summer and winter session until I was caught up. Fortunately, I completed my pre-vet curriculum a semester early, which gave me the time needed to volunteer in the ER of the University of Pennsylvania’s Animal Hospital.
It was only my third time volunteering when my view of the human-animal bond changed forever. I remember standing across the room, frozen in place, as I watched a Philadelphia police officer, a man in his mid 50’s, laying on top of his German shepherd, sobbing uncontrollably. He was wearing normal street clothes instead of his uniform, had taken his sweatshirt off and placed it under his knees for support, and had his arms stretched around his dog’s thick and furry neck with his face buried into hers, as he told her how much he loved her and thanked her for being his loyal partner and friend, and for keeping him safe. At that moment, it really hit me that despite our profession, age, gender, income, or pride, we all share a deeply profound connection and love with our pets. It is unlike any other relationship, inexplicable with words or language, and uniquely different in that we, as pet owners, have the responsibility of determining when it is in our pet’s best interest to make the hardest decision most of us will ever face - the decision to say good bye.
A few years ago, when I had to make this decision for my very own best friend in the entire world (Abby, my 14-year-old fox red lab), I realized the complexities and emotions involved were far more than it simply being a “yes” or “no” answer. I had grown up with Abby and could not imagine a day without her by my side, yet I knew she was no longer enjoying her favorite things like she once did or more importantly, like she deserved to be. When our family ultimately had our heads agree with what our hearts had known for quite some time, we set her free in her favorite spot in the house, on her favorite bed, after a feast of potato chips, whipped cream, and chicken soup. While it didn’t make it any easier, I found comfort in knowing that her final moments were spent in a familiar place surrounded by abundant love, silky ear kisses, and encompassing hugs around her thick and furry neck, just as that police officer had given to his best friend as he set her free many years before.
Even with my medical background and knowledge, it was difficult for me to separate my love for Abby with what was best for her, and looking back, it was this experience that truly sparked my passion for geriatric and end of life care. I want to be able to help others along the winding road of ups and downs that we all face as our best friends need us most, and I am honored, every day, to be a part of this personal and special journey of the families who welcome me into their home.
Jessica Wilbourne, DVM
Since I could remember, I have always had a drive to understand the world around me. I would ask why things happen, how they work, why things fall apart and how we put them back together. For me, the ultimate questions of why we lose things in our lives has led me to the confluence of events that surround those moments. Trying to understand the 'why' became nil to the experience of simply letting go, offering comfort to our fellow man/animal, and to find a sense of peace and bravery in living in that moment.
I grew up in beautiful Bucks County, PA, surrounded by family, friends and animals. After graduating from Arizona State University with a degree in biology, I worked and travelled before ultimately earning my veterinary degree from the Royal Veterinary College in London, UK. Studying abroad was an amazing experience that opened my eyes to new cultures, people and ideas, and allowed me to travel the world to explore places like Africa, Sri Lanka, Indonesia and throughout Europe. Following veterinary school, I completed a small animal rotating internship at Hickory Veterinary Hospital in Plymouth Meeting, PA, and then moved to Guam to work as a civilian in a U.S. Army military hospital. After Guam, I then worked in small animal practice in Florida and Pennsylvania, before joining Lap of Love.
Having traveled the world, I have returned home to Bucks County where I enjoy spending time with family, friends and even more animals. I hope to offer relief and comfort to those I meet and I am honored to assist in the peaceful transition of our beloved pets to the next stage.
Julie Willenkin, DVM
"Dr. Jessica was so kind and gentle. Our little Gigi's cancer was diagnosed only days before we needed to let her go, so we were all in quite a bit of shock. Dr. Jessica has such a calm, loving demeanor that we were put at ease by her presence even though it was a very hard time. I can't say enough about all of our interactions with everyone at Lap of Love. I was so impressed with the kindness, compassion, and patience that I received during every interaction on the phone or in person."
Janine BoshSellersville, Pennsylvania
"Dear Dr. Willenkin
On behalf of my family and I we cannot thank you enough. You made Rocky’s transition to heaven as peaceful as was humanly possible. I speak for all of us I don’t think we could have done it without you. As your card says “they are family”. I am sure you hear it all the time but Rocky was one of Gods unique creatures. There was a certain order in his universe and he made sure we followed it precisely.
Even to the end, on Friday, we had to go to the creek first he found his patch of very special grass and then into the creek to fetch a rock. Naturally, he brought the rock home. He could hardly walk but he brought it all the way home just like the hundreds of others.
I do not know how long you can do what you do, before burnout sets in? Both my wife and Jonathan are nurses and have a special appreciation for the gift that has been bestowed upon you. Please know that you will always be in our prayers asking God to give you the blessing and strength that you need to carry on the wonderful work you do and in the wonderful and caring way that you do it.
We are forever grateful
With deepest regards, I am,
Pietro A. Barbieri & Family -1"
Pietro BarbieriWest Chester, Pennsylvania
"When we got the terrible news last month that Willie had orbital lymphoma, we were in total shock. We had heard about Lap of Love through friends of ours, but didn't know much about it. We were a little hesitant - I had only been present for the euthanization of my childhood dog at our vet when I was in college, and my husband had never been through the process. Would it be okay for our dogs to be home? Would they freak out? Would we only remember our home as the place where we ended her life?
Willie took a bad turn at the beginning of the week last week. I could tell she was in her final days - but I still wasn't sure what to do. After speaking with the wonderful people at Lap of Love - I was so relieved. The support team answered all of my questions over the phone and put all of my concerns at ease. We booked an appointment with them the following day.
What followed far exceeded any of my expectations. Dr. Julie was absolutely amazing. When she arrived to our home, she greeted our crazy dogs like they were her own. She sat with us, and listened as we shared stories of Willow with her, and you could tell she genuinely cared. She discussed everything that she was going to do, and everything that we could expect from the experience. Willow went peacefully in the comfort of her own home - without having to go in the car (which she hated!) or on a cold table at our vet's office. Even after she passed, Dr. Julie let us and our dogs have time with her, which ultimately gave them closure (at least thats what I tell myself - they seem to be coping well, and haven't wandered around looking for her since she passed) and gave us time to say goodbye. Even after Willow's passing, the respect Dr. Julie showed us and Willow left me speechless. She bundled Willow in a beautiful basket with a blanket - she looked like she was sleeping so peacefully. She strapped her into the front seat of her car - seatbelt and all! - and took her directly to the crematory. We had Willow back home the following day.
Lap of Love will now always be a part of any of my pets' end of life care. From the support team to Dr. Julie, our experience far exceeded my expectations. My husband and I are forever grateful for Dr. Julie and the Lap of Love team. Thank you so much for being there for Willie and our family."
Megan SaltzmanWest Chester, Pennsylvania
"We made the very difficult decision this past Friday to say goodbye to our 17 year old cat Sammy. I had heard about Lap of Love and went on their website to make an appointment. I was very surprised to get a call back within an hour and around 10pm. We were able to work out an appropriate appointment time and Brian, the gentleman I spoke to on the phone was very caring about the situation we were going through and followed up immediately after with an email which included our quoted price as well as suggestions on how to prepare ourselves for what was coming.
Dr Julie called about an hour before she arrived and again when she was about 10 min away which I really appreciated. I can not say enough good things about Dr Julie. She was so sweet, so kind and so considerate of the situation and explained every step as we went through the process. This was a completely different experience from what we had putting our dog down at the vet clinic. It was less cold, Dr Julie spent more time with us and Sammy didn't have to experience what for him is a traumatic trip to the vet in the car. We opted to leave our dog Copper upstairs as he and Sammy didn't really get along, but we're able to allow him to come downstairs after the process was done. I was blown away by his response... he sniffed and laid down next to him and he clearly knew what had happened. This was night and day from bringing our Luka home from the vet he wanted nothing to do with her.
After giving us some time alone, Dr Julie took a paw print and lock of hair from Sammy and we were able to lay him to rest outside. She also gave us some wildflower seed packets to plant on top of his grave. We would 100% use this service again, I can't imagine any other way now. Yes it is more pricey than saying goodbye at the vets office, however, you do pay for what you get, and saying goodbye to Sammy in our home was priceless to us."
Khara WhitcombEast Greenville, Pennsylvania
"What a calming and loving experience this process was thanks to Dr. Julie. She helped us see clearly what Rowan needed."
Missy Hetzneckerfort washington, Pennsylvania
"We cannot say enough good things about Dr. Julie. Her professionalism, empathy and respect was the best! She help make what has been the hardest thing in our lives a peaceful serene experience. Being able to be with Gunner on his favorite pillow, outside on a beautiful day was a perfect way to say goodbye. Dr. Julie guided us through the process while being genuinely interested and concerned with making this painful experience as peaceful as possible. She has been in context with us several times to see how we are coping. We would strongly recommend Dr Julie and Lap of Love as the only way to say goodbye to a loved pet."
Paula & Michael CristConcord, Pennsylvania
Pet Life and Loss Support Services
CARES (Center for Animal Referral and Emergency Services), Langhorne
Day by Day Pet Caregiver Support, Drexel Hill
HOPE Veterinary Specialists, Malvern
MVA's Pet Loss Support Group, Norristown
Metropolitan Veterinary Associates (MVA), Norristown
Veterinary Grief Counseling Program at Penn Vet's Ryan Veterinary Hospital, Philadelphia
Hickory Veterinary Hospital, Plymouth
The Veterinary Grief Counseling Program at Penn Vet's Ryan Veterinary Hospital
Quakertown Veterinary Clinic
Day by Day Pet Caregiver Support. Philadelphia
Helping families in the following areas:
We proudly serve families in Southeastern PA, including Montgomery, Bucks and Chester counties with some parts of Delaware. A travel fee ranging from $30-$100 may apply based on distance travelled from the veterinarian.
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 71Glenside, PA 19038-0071