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
"Our 19 year old beloved cat Scout had lived a very happy and healthy life. However, as it happens, she became ill with an untreatable illness and had to released from her suffering. We had heard about Lap of Love through a friend and inquired after reaching a decision on when we would need to do it. After speaking with someone on the phone at Lap of Love for only a few minutes, we knew this was a caring organization that would help us make the best out of a tough and emotional process. They were extremely thoughtful and gracious when it came to scheduling. Dr Keri was very calming and very compassionate. She felt just like a family friend being there. At the same time, her professionalism was evident in all her actions, guidance and suggestions. We were so thankful that Lap of Love provides this service and that we had chosen to contact them. We wanted to have Scout move on in the comforts of home, with no stress. Words can't express how Dr Keri and Lap of Love helped us through, what for every caring pet owner, is a emotional and painful process."
Mike BSt. Louis, Missouri
"When my Lanie was approaching the end of her life, I made
the decision that I didn't want to take her to the vet.
For one thing, I wanted her bosom companion there so she
would know where Lanie had gone. My veterinarian would
normally have come to my house but all of them were
booked when the time finally came. I was very distressed
by this, but they offered me the phone number of Lap of Love.
I had never heard of this organization, but I gave the number a
call. The woman who answered my call and took my information
was so understanding and kind, I had hope that this was the
right decision. When Dr. Keri came to our house, I was
immediately relieved. She was warm and caring with both
the dogs and with us. She described everything she was going
to do and asked us about our baby, wanting to know a bit
about her very temporary patient. She eased Lanie on her way
with a gentleness I found very heartening. She was also
very kind to us, knowing the heartache we were in. From now
on, I have decided to use Lap of Love with all of my animals, if
and when the time comes. I highly recommend their services.
Although this is a heartbreaking time for pet parents, Dr. Keri
made sure we were all comforted as Lanie gently left this life.
Thank you so much, Dr. Keri"
Natalie DrewSt. Louis, Missouri
"I cannot begin to explain how comforting Dr. Roberts was to us in this extremely painful time. She saw me at my absolute worst, devastated and sobbing. She took her time and proceeded only when I was ready. I’m so thankful this service exists, and such kind people like Dr. Roberts are there to make sure we animal parents give our fur babies the end of life treatment they deserve."
Lacy RakestrawSt. Louis, Missouri
"When our family made the decision to seek end-of-life care for our beloved dog, Wilson, it was a time of stress and sadness. Fortunately, Dr. Morgan was there to offer comfort and care. Her professionalism and sensitivity helped us through this difficult time. She clearly explained each part of the process. She listened to our stories about Wilson. She wrote a beautiful tribute that captured Wilson’s spirit. She made the whole process more humane and peaceful. We are grateful that Dr. Morgan was there for Wilson, and for our family."
Ben WeissSt. Louis, Missouri
"If you are thinking about using this service, call them before you need them. After speaking to someone on the phone ( she listened for at least an hour while I poured my heart out) I got all of the info. She answered all of my questions and took my pet's info. She told me that there was no rush or pressure to buy. Just that they will keep my information on file, and if and when I needed them to just go ahead and call anytime. As it turned out, I needed them sooner than I thought I would. I had to call them in the middle of the night. I left a message on the machine and they called me back first thing in the morning. She set up an appointment as early as possible 10:30 that morning. When the doctor arrived she introduced herself and was very kind and calm. Her calm and kind demeanor really made a difference in my horrible day. She came in and let me show her where my baby was. She expressed sympathy and told me she would explain what would happen whenever I was ready. She explained it all to me even though I've been through it all before she carefully let me know exactly what would happen and how things would be done. She then continued with the procedure. It was really a relief to end my poor babies suffering. She let me stay with him and hold him the whole time. Then we wrapped him up at his own blanket and gently took him out to the car. The doctor hug me and express how sorry she was for my loss and let me know that if there was anything she could do for me to help my grieving process to let her know. I was left with a beautiful paw impression from my dog and a piece of his hair and a keepsake box. It would have been very traumatic for everyone involved if I had had to try to move him and put him in my car and take him to the hospital to end his life. I'm very very grateful that this service exists and the people that work for them are the most wonderful caring people I've met. I highly highly recommend that you do this if you have a need."
Louisa AlbertsonSt.Louis, Missouri
"I would like to thank Dr. Morgan. My dog, Schlafly had Stage III Mast CEll Tumors that had spread. We had tried the radiation and chemo route. When I knew we were close to the end, I stressed about how she would go. Would it happen in the middle of the night and I would have to rush her to an Emergency Clinic? I didn't want her last moments to be in a cold clinic. My first meeting with Dr. Morgan, relieved so much stress and anxiety, I can not even explain. We went over what to expect and I realized my fur baby would not have to spend her last moments in a cold clinic.
We discussed how to rate her days good and bad and that also relieved much anxiety.
But I would say the part that I appreciated the most was being able to reach her by email/phone and just talk thru my anxieties. Many nights and weekends, Dr. Morgan answered frantic emails from me within minutes. And none of this was ever expected!
Talking thru my feelings, guilt, etc with Dr. Morgan even in the final moments was a comfort to me.
I would suggest Lap of Love to anyone with a pet. The vets that work there are special, kind people who understand what you are going thru!"
Christie NarezBelleville, Illinois
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