Aiken-Augusta and 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 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 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 8am - 8pm. 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!
Growing up as a child in New York City, I had an array of “apartment” pets: cats, birds and hamsters. During my summers I would visit my grandparents in Puerto Rico and help nurse piglets, brush horses and help with the cows. I decided early on that I wanted to be a veterinarian, and I was fortunate to attend a high school that helped me towards that goal. My veterinary career started in academia where I pursued a specialty in Laboratory Animal Medicine so that I could work with monkeys.
During my residency, I worked on the weekends in an emergency clinic which allowed me to maintain my exposure to a variety of pet animals. Over the years I had a rewarding career assisting cancer, diabetes and neurological research in Laboratory Animal Medicine, but after some time I realized that I was “missing something.” I realized that I needed to refocus my efforts to a more personally fulfilling role. As I tried to define what that role would be, I reflected on my past experiences. Our family has been blessed to have shared our life with a variety of pets (of all sizes!).
As our pets became older or chronically ill, I had meaningful discussions with my children to help them understand quality of life and know when it’s time to say goodbye. In addition, I have assisted close family and friends as they’ve wrestled with the same decisions with their animal companions. It has been those experiences that have brought me a sense of accomplishment and gratification that I was able to assist someone in their most vulnerable time.Those reflections have empowered me to assist others with making difficult decisions for their pet companions and providing an improved quality of life through better pain management practices for geriatric and chronic illness pets.
I currently live in Aiken, SC with my three children, husband, two dogs, one cat, three chinchillas, 7 chickens and six horses. We enjoy a variety of outdoor activities at the beach or the mountains.
As a kid, it never occurred to me that I could be a veterinarian, although animals always held my fascination. I was an only child, living with my mom—a busy graduate student. What a big deal it was to me to have my very first pets—a pair of gerbils. I’ll never forget how thrilled I was to watch them run on their exercise wheel and snuggle down in their nest together. I loved visiting the petting zoo near where my dad lived—feeding the animals and riding the resident camel. I couldn’t get enough! When my dad and stepmom got a kitten, I was over the moon! I absolutely adored him. When they got a Golden Retriever named ‘Jenny,’ I was beside myself—she was the four-legged sister I’d never had! We played hours of fetch where I would throw slobber-drenched balls as deep into the woods as possible. Since then, I have been blessed to welcome many more animals into my life—each one a special member of my family. I went on to finish high school and pursue a telecommunications degree at the University of Florida. Frankly, I was a little intimidated by science and math.
After graduation, I worked for a public radio station for a couple of years. I enjoyed my work, but felt like something was missing. I had the opportunity to hang out with some veterinary students and vet techs. Their conversations were so interesting and their work so rewarding. After volunteering at a small animal clinic and with the UF Foal Unit, I knew that vet school was for me. I graduated from the University of Tennessee College of Veterinary Medicine in 1999. I worked for many years in small animal private practice, where I was able to really experience the depth of the human-animal bond. The most memorable moments of my career have been when I knew that I’d not only helped my patients, but helped their owners as well—through one-on-one education or counseling. I remember so many times when the waiting room was full at the end of the day, but I had a teary client in an exam room with their terminally ill pet. It was so important to me to help them and never rush them through the decision-making process and euthanasia. That is so difficult to do in a clinical setting.
As a pet owner who happens to be a veterinarian, I have had the opportunity to experience euthanasia of my beloved pets both in a clinic and at home. In fact, it didn’t occur to me to do it at home until my very anxious and fearful cat Mookie became too ill to go on. She had gotten to the point that she preferred to stay in my walk-in closet. I was able to help her leave this world peacefully and painlessly in the place where she felt safest. Wow! What an epiphany for me—why hadn’t I been doing this all along for my four-legged kids?! Knowing what I know now, I would never consider any other way for my own pets, and I feel blessed to be able to offer this to other folks who feel the same about their special family members.
Nancy Rodriguez, DVM
"Having to say goodbye to our loved one was one of the hardest things we have ever had to do. Lap of Love made the process a loving and caring experience. Dr. Nancy was very compassionate and made sure our dog was comfortable and that we had time to say goodbye. The experience was much better than a vet office, as we were able to have our final moments at home, where our dog was comfortable, familiar, and loved. I would highly recommend this service, during your troubled time. RIP sweet dog, you were, and always will be loved."
Erik DosAugusta, Georgia
"I heard about Lap of Love years ago, but only used their services recently. My grandparents needed hospice care at the end of their lives and I wondered if there was such a thing for pets. I was so relieved to find that there is. Having been through the long natural death process with several of our cats, I always worried if they were feeling any pain, or were scared or if there was something more I should be doing. We contacted Lap of Love as soon as our regular veterinarian gave Mr. Peanut a terminal diagnosis. We knew that since he had cancer, a peaceful, natural death would likely not be possible. Dr. Sunday reached out to schedule an in-home consultation with us for hospice care. She spent time assessing Mr. Peanut, addressed all of our concerns, helped us with a plan for pain management and gave us lots of helpful tools for continually evaluating his quality of life. She checked in via email regularly and it was comforting to know that she was available for any questions we had as they came up. When Mr. Peanut let us know it was time, Dr. Sunday came out for in-home euthanasia. She was very kind, compassionate and thoroughly explained the process and made sure we knew that there would be no pain or fear. She was great with my 11 year-old son and helped him understand all that was happening and that it was a peaceful experience for Mr. Peanut. I really can't recommend Lap of Love and especially Dr. Sunday highly enough. I feel so grateful to have this type of end of life care available for our pets."
Jennifer VazNorth Augusta, S. Carolina
"Our family is greatly appreciative of the support provided by Lap of Love and Dr. Nancy Rodriguez. We knew the time was approaching when our Jonah would have to leave us. We reached out to Lap of Love early to begin preparing for the difficult time ahead. After a few weeks of back and forth communication where they encouraged us and provided us with helpful reading material, they assisted us in making the right decision at the right time on behalf of Jonah. Even though we made the decision on a weekend evening (the only time our entire family could be present), Lap of Love and Dr. Nancy were completely understanding and compassionate. When the moment arrived, as hard as it was to do, Dr. Nancy ensured Jonah's transition was one of dignity, love, and respect. We are forever thankful for her professionalism, compassion, and care for Jonah and our family."
Elizabeth GrimesEvans, Georgia
"Where do I begin.....Our beloved Reesey was diagnosed with cancer this past May. Over the past month, it seemed to get worse. Although I had been praying for a natural death, we knew that we were going to need to make that dreaded decision. My husband called Lap of Love and discussed the process with them. We decided to enjoy our last weekend with her before saying goodbye. Because we love her so much, we wanted to make sure that she would take her last breath at home with her family. Dr. Nancy came to our house and helped our girl to pass with peace, and without pain. I could not bring myself to be there, but my husband told me that Dr. Nancy was so friendly, kind and compassionate. We are so thankful that we chose Lap of Love. Making this decision is gut-wrenching....how can I say goodbye, yet still feel a sense of joy? This is the way to show your companion, how much you love(d) them."
Patti WojcikAiken, S. Carolina
"It's been a year and we miss our Charlie like he just left yesterday. We couldn't have found a better vet than Dr. Nancy to help us make the tough decision with our fur baby. She took her time playing with Charlie, his brothers Scruffy and Bear and of course she had plenty of treats! We are so grateful to Dr. Nancy for giving us some happy moments on our last day together. It meant so much to have Charlie at home where he could be relaxed and comfortable!
Thank from Robin, Bill, Scruffy and Bear"
Robin KeiterGrovetown, Georgia
"My family is so grateful for Dr. Nancy & Lap of Love. On the very difficult day of losing one of our best friends, Dyson, our 7 yo Choco lab, Dr. Nancy was there to try and ease our pain and help us take care of Dyson. Lap of Love surrounded us with love and understanding during and after the process of losing our tennis ball loving buddy. Dyson was the sweetest lab, he loved to snuggle and has never met a stranger. I know that Dyson would have loved Dr. Nancy. Losing a big piece of our home left our hearts a little empty, we are so thankful Dr. Nancy with Lap of Love was there to help make the end a little more easier to handle."
Laura PharrAiken, S. Carolina
Pet Life and Loss Support Services
Cindy Foster, LCSW, NBCCH
Augusta, GA: Augusta Animal Emergency
St. Francis Animal Hospital
South Carolina: SC Veterinary Emergency Care
Joy in the Morning
Helping families in the following areas:
We assist families with in home pet hospice and euthanasia in the Aiken-Augusta area ncluding the following listed below. Our veterinarians are willing to travel upwards of 50 miles and travel fees will be determined based on distance from the doctor's home ranging between $30-$100. Please call us to learn more about pricing for your area.
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 LovePO Box 5296Aiken, SC 29804
Aiken Standard: At-Home Service Available for Pets in Their Final Days
The Augusta Chronicle: Local Vets Provide In-Home Care to Aging Pets
Aiken Standard: Business Helps Pet Lovers Make Tough Choices
This Lap of Love location is independently owned and operated by Drs. Cozzi and Rodriguez.