St. Louis & 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 contained in a lovely cherry wooden urn with an engraved tag and will be returned to your primary care veterinarian within two weeks. They can also be made available directly from the crematory or mailed to you.
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 a pond in the country.
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 6am - 10pm. 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.
Dawnetta Woodruff, DVM
From the age of 7, I knew I wanted to be a veterinarian. Growing up on a farm, our family had many dogs and cats - but as with most animal lovers, there is frequently one that touches your heart more than the rest. For me, that one was Whitey, my Great Pyrenees. She was by my side every day as I did chores at the barn, as I played outside, and even as I waited at the bus stop. She was a gentle soul, and always seemed to sense my mood. When I was happy she wanted to play, when I was sad she would sit with her head in my lap giving me comfort and companionship - but when I moved away to college, Whitey got sick. My parents called to tell me that Whitey may not be able to hang on until I returned home. I went home that weekend to see her one last time, and I felt blessed that during Whitey's last minutes, we were both at home and she was able to lay her head in my lap and pass away with dignity and in peace.
During my career as a veterinarian, I have worked in a mixed animal hospital, in an emergency clinic, and in a small animal hospital. The experiences have been very different, however my favorite aspect of the job remains the same; I love interacting with clients and witnessing the bond that they have with their pets. A pet loves unconditionally and brings joy to the family. I believe it is the same kind of unconditional love that allows us, as veterinarians and pet owners, to make the difficult decision of when to say goodbye to our beloved companions.
We are never truly ready to let go, and euthanasia is never an easy decision - however a familiar, comfortable environment can make the process less stressful and more peaceful for everyone. My hope is that I can provide a listening ear, professional advice, and a compassionate experience for you and your pet when the time comes to say goodbye and allow them move on to a better place.
Photo Courtesy of St. Louis Post Dispatch
Keri Morgan, DVM, MPH
As a small child, I spent most summer days convincing my friends to help me scour the neighborhood to find and save all of the fuzzy caterpillars. No matter the species, every animal I saw had a special place in my heart. My first pet was a cute, white rabbit I craftily acquired for “free” on Easter Day when my parents were conveniently out of town. Before too long, I got an additional rabbit friend by presenting a well-thought-out PowerPoint on why rabbits need companions. In addition to rabbits, we had three wonderful cats. Naturally, in my mind the next project was a dog. In middle school, my family adopted a Collie named Charlie from an animal rescue. Charlie was found abandoned on the side of the highway with two other puppies. Despite his tough beginnings, Charlie was a patient, gentle dog that touched everyone in my family. Unfortunately, Charlie’s last day with my family was abrupt. My dad and I rushed him to the emergency room one night for respiratory distress, but he was never able to recover. Even though the end to Charlie’s life was difficult, I will forever cherish the bond we shared.
As a pet owner and a veterinarian, I understand how leaving the comfortable, safe home environment lends a level of anxiety for most pets. During my time at Mizzou Veterinary Medical School, I focused my interest on animal behavior. In my final year, I become Fear-Free certified so that I could minimize the stress of every animal I treated. Working for Lap of Love, the anxiety of leaving the house is eliminated. With gentle handling, I can focus on every pet’s individual needs, whether that is making the last months comfortable or making those final moments as peaceful as possible.
Very early in life, I learned the value of the human-animal bond. Rabbit, cat, dog – the connection we make with each of our pets is unique and special. I am honored to work with a group of veterinarians with so much care for each and every life.
Carrie Roberts, DVM
I wanted to be a veterinarian from a young age and consider myself lucky to have grown up in a family of medical professionals. My parents helped me nurse several injured animals (wild and domestic) back to health throughout my childhood. It was incredibly rewarding to watch those animals thrive, and it solidified my decision to pursue veterinary medicine.
Our family dog was an amazing Labrador named Shadow. She was an incredibly smart and loving dog. She was our shadow, always following us around to be part of our activities. She seemed to be able to sense and react to human emotions in a very special way, which made me feel even closer to her. When she fell ill suddenly, we were devastated. She was diagnosed with an aggressive form of cancer, and we were informed that surgery would not extend her life. We made the difficult decision that day to let her pass peacefully. It was incredibly painful to lose her, but I am thankful that she didn’t have to suffer. I will always be grateful for the time that we shared and all of the wonderful memories of Shadow that I keep close to my heart.
I grew up on the West Coast, and graduated from Oregon State University College of Veterinary Medicine in 2007. Since graduation, I have worked in small animal practices caring for dogs, cats, hamsters, guinea pigs, rodents, and other small pets. I especially enjoy working with senior pets and assisting them with their unique needs. I recognize that a lot of pets are fearful upon entering a veterinary hospital and assisting with end of life care surrounded by their family with treats, toys, blankets can ease their distress.
I consider it a privilege to work with pets in the comfort of their own home. I enjoy hearing stories about each pet and how they have touched the hearts of their loving owners. The human-animal bond is truly beautiful and special. Helping pets pass peacefully is one way I can help honor that bond.
My husband and recently moved to the St. Louis area with our four cats: JB, Wyatt, Izzy and Baker. We enjoy volunteering with rescue organizations to help find forever homes for pets.
Dawnetta Woodruff, DVM
"When we knew that our time with our Lucy was coming to an end...we couldn't imagine it happening anywhere but our home. The entire process of working with Lap of Love was so smooth and effortless. From the beginning, Dr. Woodruff and her team were kind, sympathetic, and wonderful. When Dr. Woodruff came to our house, we knew we had made the right decision - she was patient and gentle with our Lucy, and explained the entire process to my wife and I. She treated Lucy like she was her own, and when the time finally came, Lucy crossed the Rainbow Bridge surrounded by her family and finally at peace. I cannot thank Dr. Woodruff enough for helping us through this."
Gayan De SilvaUniversity City, Missouri
"We very much appreciated Dr. Carrie's compassion and gentleness."
Rich & Jane PisarkiewiczO'Fallon, Missouri
"Words cannot express the gratitude that my family has for the services you provide. On July 22, 2017 our family made one of the hardest decisions we have yet to come across. We are a family of 9 with 5 of them being rescued furry family. My human children are 29 and 25 years old. My 2-oldest furry family members were 16 years old, Murphy, who was a chow-shepard mix and Kitty who was a ragdoll cat. Murphy was brought to my youngest son's cub scout car wash. He was just a pup and the owner stopped at our car wash and asked if anyone was interested, and home with us he went. Kitty was rescued from the Humane society on Macklind. His name at that time was Lorenzo, which was not liked by us but since he was already a year old we decided that Kitty might be the only name he's likely too take to quickly. So, needless to say these two grew up with my boys and were very close and very much a part of our family. At times we even joked that Murphy and Kitty had a pack to outlive each other. As both these two started having problems with ambulation and incontinence, we as a family had no problem putting down pee pads and lifting Murphy to assist him outside. However, as they started to rapidly decline, we were faced with the thought of what their quality of life was. This was very upsetting as we thought they were such outstanding and special pets that we couldn't bring ourselves to take them vet to be put down. The anxiety was almost overwhelming and took a toll on the family. No one wanted to stress the animals with the vet's office and a cold table as their last resting spot. So, I started looking into home euthanasia and found lap of love. Now, if this wasn't enough that we found a company that will come out and assist us with our pets crossing over ( as we our now convinced that our love kept them living), we were blessed by meeting Dr. Dawnetta Woodruff. I mean her last name alone tells you this was her calling- Wood RUFF. But I mean to tell you, she is a very special lady. She entered our home and within minutes we were all 100% convinced that this was the way to handle assisting our oldest pets in crossing over. She explained everything and respectfully asked permission before proceeding with any and everything. She listened to my family tell stories about our animals, I mean really listened. She comforted when we needed comfort and she educated when we needed educating. Dr. Dawnetta helped with the guilt and assured us that we were doing the right thing with regards to the health of Murphy & Kitty. She gave advice on how to handle the past, the now and the future. The only negative that this whole experience had was in the beginning I did think that it was costly. But let me tell you, now that I have experienced it..... I would sell my jewelry to make sure that my remaining three furry family members have the same quality crossing. Dr. Dawnetta has set the bar high for whoever gets the pleasure of meeting the rest of my crew, but hopefully, it is Dr. Dawnetta herself."
Tracy KirbyHigh Ridge, Missouri
"This is one of the hardest decisions I have ever had to make. Dr. Keri Morgan was very kind, genuine and caring. She comforted me in letting me know that I was making the right decision. Minnie was diagnosed a year ago with being in the beginning stages of heart failure. She just didn't have that same spark and excitement that she used to and was always getting out of breath with daily activities and just going potty. She asked questions about Minnie and her life with me. She learned that she was a spoiled little chihuahua that got everything she wanted. When it came time to start she was very gentle and she explained every step to me before we did it. As sad as all of this is I couldn't be happier that I went with Lap of Love, it was so much more comforting than I thought it would be being able to do the whole thing in the comfort of my own home. It lifted a huge burden knowing I didn't have to take Minnie to the vet office. This will always be the way I go for any of my future pets ❤️ Thank you"
Shannon SchmidtFestus, Missouri
"We have been so fortunate to have found Dr Woodruff & her associate Dr Morgan to assist us and our beloved german shepherds across the Rainbow Bridge when it was their time. Both are so kind, gentle and compassionate and such a pleasure to deal with in what is always such an emotional time. We so appreciated that we could include our other german shepherds in the process as this helped us all in finding our peace. I highly recommend them.
Vera GablianiSt louis, Missouri
"Words cannot begin to express how grateful we are to Lap of Love and to Dr. Dawnetta in particular for everything they did to guide us through one of the most difficult decisions we've ever had to make. After ten wonderful years of joy, love, and companionship with our beloved Bear, in the last month of his time with us, it became clear that the pain associated with the degenerative bone condition of his hind leg could no longer be managed with medication. We had determined that when he was no longer able to experience few or any of the everyday joys of being a dog, we would let him go, and because he was always anxious about vets, we wanted his last moments to be at home, surrounded by his people and everything that was most comforting and familiar to him. Dr. Dawnetta and Lap of Love made that possible. At every stage of the process, from the first tearful phone call to Lap of Love to the moment we were given the choice to carry him from the house for the last time, we were comforted amid our grief by the thoughtfulness, compassion and respect given to us by Dr. Dawnetta and Lap of Love. No one who has ever loved a pet ever wants that final day to come, but if that day is inevitable, then you hope it can somehow fulfill your perfect vision for it. With tenderness and grace, Dr. Dawnetta shepherded us through the process, gently guiding us along while giving us the time to move forward only when we were ready, or in her words (which were always pitch perfect), "whenever you feel as ready as you'll ever be." She brought the expertise of a practiced veterinarian, which provided its own comfort, but more than that, within the first few minutes of meeting her, it felt like she was part of the family. Even Bear, with his lifelong wariness of vets, was thoroughly relaxed in her presence. As we work our way through our grief, we find tremendous comfort in knowing that we were able to achieve for Bear a passing that was entirely free from fear and suffering, and that we were able to devote ourselves completely to being present with him and for him in his final moments. Thank you, Dr. Dawnetta, for giving us that wonderful gift."
Jason BestSt. Louis, Missouri
Pet Life and Loss Support Services
St Louis: Animal Emergency Clinic South (Big Bend & 141)
St Louis: Animal Emergency Clinic O'Fallon
St Louis: Associated Veterinary Specialists (Bridgeton)
St Louis: Midwest Veterinary Referral Clinic (Chesterfield)
St Louis: Veterinary Specialty Services (Manchester)
Illinois: Animal Emergency Center (Collinsville)
Christine Corrigan Mendez, M.Ed., PLPC
Allison White (licensed social worker)
Baue Pet Services - grief class & pet loss support group
Paws Forever Pet Loss Support Group
Forever In My Heart Pet Loss Group - Franklin Co Humane Society
Helping families in the following areas:
Proudly serving the St. Louis / St. Louis Metro areas including:
Affton, Arnold, Ballwin, Chesterfield, Clayton, Fenton, Frontenac, Kirkwood, Lemay, Maryland Heights, Mehlville, Oakville, St Louis City, Sunset Hills, Town & Country, University City, Valley Park, Wildwood
Proudly serving the IL / Metro East areas including:
Belleville, Columbia, Dupo, Fairview Heights, Millstadt, Swansea, Waterloo
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 Love5640 B Telegraph Rd, #238St. Louis, MO 63129
Nine Network: Pet Hospice Home
Tails Pet Magazine: Conscious Living: Understanding Veterinary Hospice
Tails Pet Magazine: Caring Beyong a Cure: a Look at Veterinary Hospice
Metropet Magazine: Canine Grief - When Our Furry Friends Lose Their Buddy
St. Louis Post Dispatch: Pet Owners Say Goodbye at Home
St. Louis KPLR 11: Pet Hospice
St. Louis Fox 2: Pet Hospice Care
This Lap of Love location is owned and operated by Dr. Dawnetta Woodruff