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:
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.
Eume Jung, DVM
I was born and raised in Fairfax, Virginia and have lived in the northern Virginia area for most of my life. Unlike many people who enter the veterinary field, I did not come from a family or background that supported having pets and animals. This did not discourage me from pursuing and exploring my love for animals and science—in fact, it may have driven me even more. I took every opportunity to surround myself with animals, from volunteering at the National Zoo to doing a summer internship at a wildlife rehabilitation center.
I lived on the Caribbean island of St. Kitts and Nevis while attending Ross University for veterinary school. After graduation in 2010, I moved back home and have been working in general practice ever since. I am very passionate about working as a veterinarian, educating pet owners on preventing disease, and working up difficult medical cases. One of my favorite aspects of being a vet is that I am constantly learning new ways and implementing new technologies to improve the quality of life of animals. I consider it a privilege to guide pet owners through the difficult questions and decisions surrounding aging and end of life issues that occur in dogs and cats.
In my spare time, I like to watch movies, explore Washington, D.C., and try new foods with my husband and our adopted Great Pyrenees/Chow Chow/Shar Pei mix, Beetlejuice.
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
"Anyone that has had animals know that they're more than just "pets", they're family.
My bf and I said goodbye to our sweet kitty Sky today as she went over the rainbow bridge.
For myself the hardest part to deal with is coming to the realization that we are saying goodbye.
This morning I called Camila to schedule a doctor to come do an in-home euthanasia for Sky, I was falling apart as I was speaking with Camila and she was so patient and so empathetic towards me during our whole phone conversation.
We eventually had an appointment set up for the evening for Dr. Stephanie to come by and carry out the euthanasia for Sky.
Unfortunately, Sky passed away early in the afternoon before Dr. Stephanie could move forward, hence I had to call back and speak with Camila again letting her know the news.
Camila was yet again so empathetic and so calming I was able to make peace with my baby being in heaven.
Without making this testimonial too lengthy, I wanted to thank Camila for her superior customer service. She spoke to me as if I was her friend rather than a potential client.
I have my own business so customer service is something I strive for and I couldn't have been more blessed to have spoken to someone who embodies just that, she was warm, calm, and very caring and attentive in our convo.
Gracias Camila, you are the best!"
JInna ChoiFalls Church, Virginia
"Lap of Love and Dr. Stephanie were very helpful and caring to Franklin and our family at the time of his passing. Although Franklin passed away on his own, Lap of Love and Dr. Stephanie were there to help. We greatly appreciate the concern and thoughtfulness and the love shown to our dear friend and family during this difficult time."
Raymond RowleyLorton, Virginia
"Bingo was diagnosed with lung cancer on 17 Oct. His Internal Medicine vetinarian painted a bleak picture of what the next few weeks would be. I could never let it get that bad. Instead, Dr Stephanie Henderson ensured his passage to the other side before his pain turned to agony and his vital organs ceased to function properly. He died with dignity peacefully at home, on my lap, surrounded by love.
I was such an emotional wreck following his diagnosis but the entire Lap of Love team was compassionate and understanding. Dr Stephanie met Bingo and fed him his favorite treats two days before his departure, which was important to me. Although normally shy, he took to her right away and even let her pet him. The day of, her professionalism gave me strength but above all - she was fantastic to him. She pet him, spoke softly to him, and treated him with love and respect."
Catherine OemigWoodbridge, Virginia
"Lap of Love was unbelievably supportive. I highly recommend that you use Lap of Love, if you can. We weren't sure if putting Bonita down was the best option, so Dr. Nora came as a consultation. After learning about what Bonita was struggling with, we knew it was time. Bonita's passing was so peaceful. Having someone to guide us through it without feeling rushed or in a sterile setting made all the difference. We've had to put other dogs down at the vet's office, which brought us many sad memories of their last few minutes. Having her at home surrounded by her favorite things (and people!) was the best send off we could give her."
Meggan MaddenWashington, District of Columbia (DC)
"Dr. Beth was so comforting and kind. She put Simba right at ease and helped us understand the situation and the procedure .She did everything with such gentleness and caring. Dr. Beth made a very difficult time into a loving and beautiful experience as we said our final goodbyes to our Simba."
Tamara HarrellHerndon, 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
This Lap of Love location is independently owned and operated by Dr. Christine Shibly