The Greater Hampton Roads Region of Virginia
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 cherry blossom carvings and an engraved nameplate and will be returned to your primary care veterinarian within 10 days. They can also be made available directly from the crematory or mailed to you for an additional fee.
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 memorial garden.
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 Cohen, DVM
I was born on the southernmost point in Africa, Cape Town, South Africa and I spent my first 16 years developing a passion for animals and an interest in medicine by following around the veterinarian that cared for all the many species on my parent’s farm. Fast-forward to the present day I have achieved my dream of being a veterinarian; not caring for the exotic animals I grew up with, but instead focusing on more “traditional” pets, such as cats, dogs, ferrets and rabbits.
My education was obtained in Florida, having achieved a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of South Florida and a Veterinary Medicine degree from the University of Florida. It was also during this time that I became a proud American Citizen and met my husband Barry, an Officer in the United States Navy. Following graduation, I moved my little family to Annapolis, Maryland to both practice medicine and to accompany my husband to the United States Naval Academy. Our stay in Annapolis was a period of great learning and awareness. I Joined the Lap of Love network in 2012 and realized my true passion; the support, care and commitment of my sickest, terminal, disabled and/or geriatric patients and their families in the comfort of their home.
Becoming a veterinarian, I never thought of the caring for geriatric patients, and the eventual goodbyes, as something I would want to do but more of a necessity or responsibility that came with my career. However, after witnessing a family member pass at home with the support of hospice, I realized that hospice gave both my terminal mother-in-law and our family the greatest gift – the ability for her to pass surrounded by her family in the place she felt most comfortable.
Hospice and end-of-life care has become a true passion of mine. I have been honored to help so many incredible families and their beloved pets in Maryland, Rhode Island and now Virginia. Each time I have entered a home as a stranger but left as a friend. Each family and patient has a piece of my heart and I am so thankful to have been able to help my patient pass with dignity, love and comfort. Whenever I receive gratitude from a family I am almost embarrassed, as I have only cared for their “fur baby” for a mere hour or two in the same manner that they have cared and cherished them their entire lives. For that I am thankful to my families….
I now reside in Chesapeake Virginia with my husband, daughter, son, 3 pugs and cat.
"In October 2017 I had to make the awful decision to let my beautiful Jefe go. He was just a month shy of 14 years old and was weak and in pain, losing weight fast, and so very very unhappy at becoming incontinent. Dr. Cohen came to the house and evaluated him and agreed that it was time; she saw more than I had been seeing. She was caring and gentle and compassionate, prepared me for each step in setting my boy's spirit free. Jefe simply went to sleep.
I still haven't come to terms with his loss, but Dr. Cohen was absolutely the best. She had patience and understanding for me, and skill, respect, and compassion for Jefe."
Sandi BarrettNorfolk, Virginia
"I don't even know where to begin. Dr. Melanie is truly a gift from God. My sweet little tuxedo kitty Figaro was nearly 19. She was my baby since before I was married and had my human kids. Saying goodbye was one of the hardest things I have ever had to do. Dr. Melanie could see and feel my pain like no one else...mere minutes after we met. She has a calming voice and was unbelievably compassionate. I have had to go through these difficult decisions before, with my doggies. The trip to the vet clinic is an excruciating pain to furbaby moms and dads because we know everything is the last--last car ride, last time holding them, last loving session...and you never forget being in that exam room. Having this organization and these folks available made this as good as the situation could possibly be. It was peaceful and beautiful--exactly what I wanted for my sweet little girl. Thank you, Dr. Melanie for everything that you are. If anyone is even remotely considering Lap of Love, I implore you--it is the last greatest gift you give to your furbaby."
April SessomsHampton, Virginia
"For those who do not own a pet you cannot imagine how difficult it is to say goodbye to someone who has become a member of your family and has been for many years. We had our dog Duke a Yellow Lab since his birth in 2004. He was such a playful puppy and so full of life. He spent the 1st year of life keeping my wife company while I was in Kuwait. I have many pictures of Duke that celebrate his 12 years with us. He had a good long life and left a wonderful impression on us and all who knew him. Every day he showed such unquestioned love and devotion to us. we miss him terribly.
We knew what we were about to do was the right thing for Duke. And Dr Melanie Cohen agreed with us as she stroked his head and looked into his eyes. She saw the pain he was in and how tired he was of having to suffer with it.
Although she knew Duke for only a short time Dr Cohen showed such compassion and love for him. It was one of the saddest days of our lives as we watched him fall asleep. Lap of Love provided dignity to a stressful time for something we had to do. And now we must find a way to move on. We are so heartbroken. And will be for some time.
Michael & Susan Brookman"
Michael BrookmanHampton, Virginia
"Dr. Melanie is an amazing young lady, she is compassionate, caring & loving. She confirmed & assured with us that it was time for Nadine to cross that rainbow bridge. I have owned many many animals, dogs, cats, horses and have hit the bridge many times but I will say that Dr. Melanie made this transition so peaceful. Nadine was in good hands she crossed over in her own home & her own bed. Much nicer than taking her to the doctors office. A big thank you to the Lap of Love staff cristina with her kind words and assurance. Thank you Dr. Melanie."
CYNTHIA WAFF CAINNORFOLK, Virginia
"Dr. Melanie Cohen was very compassionate and thoroughly explained my beloved Morgan's symptoms, all the options, and of course the process to help him let go and cross the rainbow bridge. Thank you so much Dr. Melanie for your love and concern and thank you to the Rita for your help over the phone. From the beginning to the end, my communication and interactions with everyone at Lap of Love was professional, caring, and outstanding."
Kathryn RaveloVirginia Beach, Virginia
"I don't even know where to start to write this testimonial about Lap of Love and Dr. Melanie Cohen. Our 15 year old dog was suffering and in pain. She had been going downhill for several months, but today she just couldn't get up. We called Lap of Love and were able to get an appointment for three hours later. Dr. Cohen arrived and immediately reduced the anxiety level for us as well as for our fur baby. Dr. Cohen assessed Junie and reassured us that it was time for her to be at peace. Junie warmed up to Dr. Cohen and we could see she was comforted by her manner. There wasn't any drama - no bright lights and hard surfaces. Junie lay with us as Dr. Cohen administered the medicines that would make her comfortable during the procedure. We patted her face and rubbed her ears until she gradually fell into a deep sleep and crossed over that rainbow bridge. Afterwards, Dr. Cohen gave us some private time to say good-bye. I don't know how to thank her for giving us a wonderful end-of-life experience for our 15 year old baby. Rest assured, you will not be disappointed if you select Lap of Love for this difficult time."
Susan PollackNorfolk, Virginia
Pet Life and Loss Support Services
The PAL Pet Loss Comfort line
The COVE (Center of a Veterinary Excellence): Suffolk VA
Affiliated Animal Care/ Greenbrier Veterinary Referral Center: Chesapeake VA
Animal Emergency Center
Karla Drake, LCSW, Tidewater Psychotherapy Services
Helping families in the following areas:
We assist families in Chesapeake, Newport News, Norfolk, Suffolk, Portsmouth, Virginia Beach, Yorktown, Isle of Wight, Smithfield, Williamsburg, and extended service areas by request. There may be an additional travel fee between $30-$75 may be incurred based on distance 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 Love4629 Drum Point LaneChesapeake, VA 23321
Daily Press: Veterinarians are providing in-home hospice care for pets