Northern Virginia & Washington DC
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 indian rosewood urn with an engraved nameplate and will be returned either to your regular veterinarian, shipped directly to your home, or available for pickup in Fairfax Virginia based on your preference. This will be discussed with the doctor at the time of your appointment. Typical timeframe for return is 7-14 days depending on method of return.
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 buried at a certified 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.
Beth Meadow, DVM
My main goals as a young child were to convince my parents to let me have a dog, and to convince wildlife and stray cats to make a home in my family's yard in San Antonio, Texas. I grew up memorizing dog breed standards, reading James Herriot stories, and eventually was allowed to get a little rat terrier puppy I named Tootsie. As the oldest of four siblings, Tootsie was my constant companion and adventure buddy when my parents were busy with my sisters and brother. Though I loved her dearly, Tootsie was a terrier, and thus often disobedient by nature. In obedience school I received high marks for "excellent corrections,” but despite these efforts, Tootsie would often escape from the house just to chase down and bark ferociously at some friendly, easy-going labrador. One of her more humorous transgressions was to steal freshly-baked goods and hide them around the house. She was fiercely loyal, brave, and like most terriers, a little too smart for her own good. Due to my love for her, the animal kingdom, and curiosity about the natural world, I decided I wanted be a veterinarian when I grew up.
In addition to animals, I also enjoyed music and art as a child, taking piano lessons, playing in my middle and high school orchestras and bands, and singing in my college choir. I attended Austin College, a small liberal arts college in northern Texas, where I majored in Spanish and minored in Art and Biology while completing my pre-veterinary curriculum. I spent a wonderful semester in Granada, Spain, which was "like a dream," just as my professors had promised. My college jobs included veterinary technician work during school holidays, and weekly animal caretaking duties at the biology lab. I spent a year with Americorps working for Heifer International on a farm in Arkansas before graduating from veterinary school at Texas A&M in 2013. After vet school I spent three and a half fulfilling years in primary care and will always treasure these patients and their families in my heart.
Both in my personal and professional life, I have seen the comfort that in-home euthanasia and hospice care can bring to a grieving family. My first dog was terrified at the vet so letting her pass on at home was a gift for her and us at the end of her battle with cancer and heart disease. Some of my most tender and sacred moments in practice have been during end of life home visits for clients and friends. Our animal companions truly touch and enrich our lives in such meaningful ways. My goal is to help honor that gift of love and meaning by making their transition out of this world as peaceful as possible.
Christine Shibly, DVM
Growing up with a constant influx of rescue animals into our home, I knew as a young child that I wanted to be a Veterinarian. I spent as much time as possible helping my mom with all sorts of animal activities; from working with retired Greyhound racers and the Weimaraner rescue to helping with the occasional stray. I even assisted with a Beagle that gave birth during the middle of Thanksgiving dinner. I remember always wanting to be around animals even during their final moments before passing away. We lost our family greyhound Bogie to bone cancer when I was about fifteen years old and I vividly remember sitting on the floor of the veterinarian’s office holding him in my arms as he slowly passed away. I feel that every family should have the opportunity to be with their pet, providing comfort and support during their final stages of life.
With a budding interest and determination in helping animals, I decided to attend the Veterinary College at the University of Florida. I simultaneously worked as a veterinary technician which allowed me to learn many of the technical skills necessary for a career as a Veterinarian. The hospital I worked for performed many house calls, mainly for in-home euthanasias, which provided me with an introduction to an important aspect of the Veterinary field which most have not been able to experience. Preparing the doctor’s bag for the euthanasia procedure was surreal, but I fully understood the reality and seriousness of the circumstances the minute I entered the family’s home.
I assisted with many euthanasias in various locations, from the family’s special garden or a soft blanket on the floor of the living room to a pet’s favorite spot in the backyard. The one thought that is synonymous with each location is the how in-home euthanasia can help bring a little peace to a family during a very stressful time. Saying goodbye to a beloved pet can be one of the most difficult things in life. My hope is that I may be able to make this transition a little easier by allowing the family members to say farewell in the peace and comfort of their own home.
Dr. Christine Shibly in the News:
Kimberly McGrath, DVM
As the granddaughter and daughter of animal lovers, it was only natural that I developed a love for animals at a young age. Growing up, I had several beloved animal companions: a cat, a dog, and two horses. Caring for and riding my horses taught me about the strength of the human-animal bond, and I knew from a young age that I wanted to be a veterinarian.
It was a dream come true to attend the Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine at Virginia Tech. As a first year veterinary student, I began volunteering with the school's Pet Loss Support Hotline and remained involved all my years as a student. I felt drawn to this volunteer work, and it was a privilege to speak with grieving pet owners, hear memories of their beloved companions, and offer them empathy and support.
During my years in practice, my top priority has always been to help pets and owners maintain a good quality of life. I love teaming with pet owners to collectively decide on the best plans to diagnose, treat, and manage their pets. It is an honor to support and celebrate the strong bonds that we have with our animal companions, and to provide peace and dignity at the end of their lives.
Nora Glaser, DVM
As a child growing up in a rural area outside of Richmond, I had two obsessions: cats and horses. In fact, the first word I ever spoke was “Kitty!” I was naturally a bit shy as a child and I could always find some peace and comfort from cuddling with my cat Sheba or Paddington. Horseback riding helped me to gain confidence as there is something so special about grooming and caring for such a large and powerful animal. Not to mention galloping through the woods!
Our first family dog also turned me into a major dog lover. We adopted a retired racing Greyhound when I was a freshman in high school. The push to rehome these delicate and sweet dogs had just started, and many people we knew were wary of her as they had never seen one before. Evie soon won them over, however! She was a loving, gentle dog. She seemed to forget that she was supposed to chase smaller animals, and absolutely loved our cat and even wanted to groom and cuddle with my rabbit.
When Evie was 12 she developed Thyroid Cancer. She did very well after the surgery, and outlived her expected survival time by a year and a half. Sadly, she probably developed a metastatic lesion in her brain and suddenly showed signs that looked like a severe stroke. It broke my heart to let her go as she was such a special dog, but with the support of my family we made sure she had a peaceful passing.
Animals have meant so very much to me that I decided to dedicate my life to improving theirs.
After college at William and Mary, I went to the Royal Veterinary College in London, and had many experiences similar to my childhood hero, the writer James Herriot. An important part of my education was to reduce pain and suffering. I strongly believe that part of our responsibility to these amazing creatures in our care, is that they depart their earthly body surrounded by love and free from fear.
Stephanie Henderson, DVM
Growing up in Tennessee, I knew from a very young age that I wanted to be a veterinarian. I brought home a menagerie of animals, all of whom I wanted to fix and keep.
I was fortunate enough to attend the University of the South and the University of Tennessee College of Veterinary Medicine. Following school, I worked in a variety of veterinary hospitals in Tennessee, and then Virginia. These experiences allowed me to understand the importance of helping our beloved companions when they are suffering. Our pets are family members and they deserve the very best we can give them. Allowing our loved ones to be at home, where they are at peace and surrounded by people who love them, at the end of their life is a tremendous gift. I am honored to be a part of such a sacred process.
Beth Meadow, DVM
"Dr. Glaser helped ease the pain of losing Tartan by wanting to know about Tartan’s life. She was so caring and respectful of my last minutes with him. I am so very thankful for her services and how gentle she was with Tartan."
Shawnay FairclothAlexandria, Virginia
"Dr. Nora gently led us through the passing of our dear Bink. She listened to our stories and remembrances with genuine interest and compassion. She has a big heart and a generous spirit in caring for animals and their people. Dr. Nora gave us all the time we needed to say our tearful goodbyes and made a heartbreaking time as peaceful as possible. Thank you Dr. Nora and Lap of Love."
Pam and Mark MechlerHerndon, Virginia
"Our beloved boy Freddie was in excruciating pain and Dr. Nora came and saw how our baby was. She showed us so much compassion in the process and explained everything she was going to do. Our boy went peacefully in my arms as I often held him when he was sick. She allowed me to carry him to the car and we hugged it was if she had known him and us all of his sweet life!"
Ingrid RaboteauLorton, Virginia
"We had to relieve our beloved boy Freddie from his suffering the poor baby was in excruciating pain and yelping every time he moved. Dr. Glazer came and saw how bad off our baby was and the pain he was suffering. She showed us so much compassion in the process and explained everything she was going to do. Our boy went peacefully in my arms as I oftened held him when he was sick. She allowed me to carry him to the car and we hugged it was if she had known him all of his sweet life!
Thank you so much for making one of the hardest days in our life bearable."
"I used your service to put my beloved cat, Scout to sleep recently. I had gotten Scout as an 5 week old kitten 18 years ago and she was semi-feral, and didn't like to go to the vet. Dr. Stephanie went out of her way to make sure Scout was relaxed and not anxious through the process and that I was kept informed during the entire procedure. I would not hesitate to use your service and Dr. Stephanie again in the future. Her empathy and careful treatment of my kitty made this difficult time easier to bear."
Lisa ErminiAshburn, Virginia
"Dr. Nora Glaser's compassion, reassurance, and patience were true blessings. Our 3 children grew up with Benny and we had no idea how we were going to maneuver this with them. From the moment she entered our home, Dr. Nora reassured us that she'd help us figure it all out. She had advice and walked us through every step. She took time to listen to us talk about Benny. I told her that every morning, for 10 years, I woke up to the sound of panting. I would roll over to see Benny's bright eyes staring at me, smiling, ready to help me start my day. In a house full of men, Benny was the one who would listen to me talk about my day, my problems, my joys. No judgement, no advice. I would sing songs, and he would listen and lay his head in my lap. You are My Sunshine was his favorite. I explained to her that after we rescued him, we never understood how anyone could have left him outside on that farm for 2 years without enough food and water and little human interaction. We had to teach him how to walk up and down stairs, how to play with a toy (stuffed squeakers became his favorite) and how to give kisses. But he taught us all so much more. How to trust, love unconditionally, listen, and find joy everyday. Our boys can't remember life before Benny, and none of us can imagine life without him now. Dr. Nora seemed to truly understand how special Benny was to all of us. She sat on the floor with him, gently petting him with us. We knew we had made the best decision in choosing Lap of Love, and we knew that Dr. Nora was a special soul in this world. I can't imagine Benny leaving the earth in any other way, unafraid, surrounded by love, resting on his comfy bed. Thank you, Dr. Nora, for giving us the best final moments with Benny - they will be treasured forever. We highly recommend Dr. Nora Glaser and Lap of Love."
Rebecca GehlhoffAlexandria, Virginia
Pet Life and Loss Support Services
VCA SouthPaws Vet Specialists & Emergency Center
PAL- People Animals Love
The Hope Center for Advanced Veterinary Medicine
Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine
Helping families in the following areas:
Proudly serving families in Northern Virginia, Washington DC, and parts of Maryland surrounding the DC metropolitan area.
Additional travel fees apply to Washington DC, Maryland, and some extended areas of the northern Virginia area based upon distance from veterinarian. Additional travel fee is typically $50-75 depending on area.
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 Love3136 Singleton CircleFairfax, VA 22030
Washingtonian: Pets are Living Longer than Ever - What Does it Mean for Their Owners?
This Lap of Love location is independently owned and operated by Dr. Christine Shibly