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.
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
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.
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 family had the privilege of owning Inky, a Lab mix, for 15 1/2 years. My husband, an OTR truck driver, met her when she was about 4 months old. She was a stray that actually swiped his lunch sandwich when he stopped at a roadside park to eat. He took her to a local shelter in case the real owner tried to find her, but no one ever did. Before I knew it I had a baby girl running around in my back yard. From that day forward that dog never left my side and followed me from room to room, wherever I wandered she was there; she was my love and my best fried. I miss her terribly and my heart is broken.
As she aged I saw her hips start to fail but being the trooper she was she just kept going, still eating like a puppy. In every other way she was healthy. Then last week she kept falling and could no longer stand. She would drag her back end around the yard trying to do her business. Once I saw that I knew I had to make the decision I was dreading. I called Lap of Love, recommended by a fellow neighbor. From the tear filled conversation I had with the lady who answered the phone I knew I was dealing with LOVING people. I immediately knew Lap of Love was the route to take. When Dr. Dawnetta arrived I felt like I was "home." She was full of love for my Inky and my family; I felt it in her touch and I heard it in her voice. I was never rushed and she answered all questions we asked of her. One question I asked was if I was premature in my decision to euthanize Inky. She told me that I didn't make that decision alone, but that she AND I made the decision and it was the right one. I no longer felt alone in making such a gut wrenching choice, plus I was assured with her professional opinion that this was in Inky's best interest, and would allow Inky to have a dignified death, which she so deserved. Dr. Dawnetta talked us through each step, told us what to expect and when to expect it. I gave Inky a full ice cream sandwich while Dr. Dawnetta gave her the relaxing shot. With Inky's mind on that ice cream she never knew she even had that shot. Once the relaxing shot took full effect (Inky snored), with my permission, then and only then, did Dr. Dawnetta give the final shot. I told Inky to go to the rainbow bridge where one day I will meet her again. Inky was tenderly laid on a stretcher and wrapped in a soft blanket. I kissed her and she was carried out of her home and laid in the van. She was never stressed, scared, cried, or even flinched during the entire process - total peace. Dr. Dawnetta often called Inky angel; that day I had two angels in my home - my baby girl and Dr. Dawnetta. Do I still cry, of course, but there is NO guilt and I am proud of the death I was able to give my best friend. I highly recommend Lap of Love to help your pet and you with one of life's most difficult choices. These vets are truly sent from God."
Phyllis BarrImperial, Missouri
"My sweet boy Yadi was not himself. I was pretty sure it was 'that' time, but no matter how much you think you are prepared, you rarely are. Dr. Carrie was so good to both me and my boy. Unbelievably caring and understanding. She reassured us and gave me the time I needed. She calmly and gently explained each step, briefly telling me what she was going to do and why, and performed each with compassion and care.
While this part of being a pet owner totally and completely sucks, if/when it is time, Lap of Love is 100% the best option for anyone in the St. Louis area. They were caring and compassionate from the first contact through the last, and most importantly during the last moments of my boy's life. I felt he was being treated as one of their own pets, and that means everything to me. It was an extremely difficult time for me, but Dr. Carrie and the staff at Lap of Love made it as least difficult as possible given the circumstances.
I sincerely thank Lap of Love from the bottom of my broken heart.
Kim KimmellSt. Peters, Missouri
"Trying to navigate this excruciating process was impossible until our family reached out to Lap of Love. There are many options available so we reached out to close family and friends who had travelled this difficult path before us and each one spoke very highly of Lap of Love. Dr. Carrie Roberts' professionalism goes without saying, but her knowledge and calm, patient demeanor was exactly what we needed at a very emotional time. From the initial contact with Lap of Love through the day after "thinking of you" message, they make sure your loving pet will not be forgotten.
Our family is truly grateful for all both Lap of Love and Dr. Carrie provided for us during this very difficult time. We owed it to our beautiful, loving, loyal girl to give her a proper farewell."
"I had a brochure for Lap of Love for several years before we had to finally make the call. Our Sadie girl was something truly special, a once in a lifetime member of our family, and I knew when the time came I wanted her experience to be the best it could be. I'm an RVT so I've been around for a lot of euthanasia. Most of the time things go well, but sometimes it can be very stressful on the animal.
The compassion and professionalism shown by Dr. Carrie was fabulous. We hadn't met her before she arrived that day and her quiet, calm approach to the situation was great. She explained the process thoroughly and didn't rush anything. She asked us about our girl and let us talk about how special she was to us while we waited for the sedation to take effect. She also seemed to sense that we really didn't want to talk, or really couldn't talk because we were so upset. I was so thankful for that. To be able to sit by Sadie's side and just drink her in for our last minutes with her meant so much. I was glad to not have to make much small talk, no offense to Dr. Carrie. Those last moments are so important. Thank you for being able to read our individual needs so well.
From the simple injection to sedate her to the completely calm and peaceful euthanasia, everything was SO great and I'm SO glad we used Lap of Love for our girl. This process took away a lot of guilt and stress that we would have felt had we gone the normal route of taking her into a clinic. Sadie got to meet a new person that loved on her for a bit, got a simple poke that she probably didn't even really feel, and slowly and peacefully fell asleep, not even knowing what happened at the end.
Thank you SO much Dr. Carrie. It helps to know Sadie's last moments were so calm and peaceful and surrounded by love. We can mourn her without any guilt and that means a lot.
Julie Long & Anthony Maurer"
Julie LongArnold, Missouri
"After making the tough decision that our fur baby Misty needed to be set free, we knew the best choice would be doing it in the comfort of our own home surrounded by our family. After many ups and downs with Misty, we knew it was time and Lap of Love was able to make an appointment for the next morning. Leading up to Dr. Morgan’s arrival, we all started to question if we were making the right decision. From the moment that Dr. Morgan came inside our house and until she left, she was nothing but sincere, professional, respectful, and comforted us in knowing this was the correct decision. She clearly and thoroughly explained expectations and plan A and plan B to assure Misty could be most comfortable. We are grateful that Misty was calm and loved on up to her last breath. Dr. Morgan also brought a piece of clay and made us a custom paw print for our family and also gave me and my sister a small envelope with some of Misty’s fur for a keepsake. Dr. Morgan was highly educated and answered all our questions regarding Misty and the course of her medical history, as well as finding that Misty had a mass in her abdomen which we were unaware of but suspected as a possible cause to Misty’s declining health. This helped us understand we were making the best decision and gave us some closure . Thanks for all you did for us Dr. Morgan!"
Kelsey SitesWildwood, Missouri
"We will be forever grateful for the compassion, patience and kindness that Dr. Dawnetta showed us when it was time to say goodbye to our beloved Lucy. She took the time to answer all our questions before she came to our house, which was very helpful and reassuring. Euthanasia is never an easy decision, but Dr. Dawnetta reassured us that we were doing the right thing (it does help to have a vet's opinion), and was so gentle with Lucy and patient and understanding with us as we shared Lucy's final moments. She truly understood how hard it is to lose a beloved pet and family member, and I can't stress enough what a comfort that was. Lucy's last memory was of being with her family, being hand-fed turkey in her own home. Knowing that is priceless. Thank you so much, Lap of Love!"
Ann ColemanSaint 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