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
"When we first learned about Lap of Love from our veterinarian, we hoped it would be a good option for our family and our pet. We were a bit nervous about it but as our 17-year-old Maine Coon kitty, Cat King Coal, continued to decline, we thought it could be the best choice. The other two were not attractive for us: watching him suffer or taking him to a veterinary clinic (which has always been a significant source of stress for him, even for well checkups). When I called Lap of Love, the woman who answered my call was incredibly helpful and was empathetic and kind as she helped me understand the services they offer and what choices we would want to consider. She helped make it as simple as it could be at such a painful time. We scheduled the date and time (that, in itself was excruciating for me) and we spent time with Cat King Coal (aka Angel Kitty). My child, 7, began to draw pictures of her pet, even though she didn't really understand what pet hospice was (we gave her a little information ahead of time).
Then, the day came. We were anxious and by that time, our kitty was hugged up in a corner of a bathroom, barely drinking water (though we had been dropper feeding and watering him). The doorbell rang and there stood a tall, lovely young woman. She introduced herself as Dr. Keri Morgan and we welcomed her in and helped her to the space where our kitty was holed up. She took time to talk with me and my husband (who is a dentist and worked in a veterinary clinic while in dental school) and got an even more complete medical history and list of recent quality of life events for our kitty. Then, she took time alone with our guy to check his medical condition. When she emerged from the room, she kindly and gently explained to us what she was seeing and hearing from him and what the behaviors we had been witnessing meant for him and his well-being. Her explanation and her obvious concern for us and our kitty helped us to make the only decision we could humanely make -- to allow him to go. Dr. Morgan talked to our little girl and explained to her in a child-friendly way what was happening. and why it was the gentle choice for our gentle giant of a kitty. Though it was difficult for all of us and there were tears (Dr. Morgan had tears in her eyes, too), it was much easier and more comfortable than other options for our kitty and our family. Dr. Morgan was an angel that day for us and she has continued to stay in touch with us and has written beautiful messages to us about our kitty. We are grateful for the kindness and the love she shared with us."
Teresa TosiSt. Louis, Missouri
"Dr. Morgan was very kind, and very professional, she made the process so much easier on our family."
Frances DolmageDe Soto, Missouri
"I wasn't sure what to expect when we made the decision to contact Lap of Love - of all the emotions that were going through my mind with the thought of losing my best friend of 12+ years, gratitude was not one of them. I cannot express how grateful I am to Dr. Woodruff and Lap of Love. She came in and it was immediately easy to feel comfortable with her. She listened to our stories about Nica, watched patiently as Grandma and Grandpa fawned over her and gave her "one last carrot for the road" and waited until I was as ready as I possibly could be to say goodbye to my friend. Because of Dr. Woodruff, I was able to hold on to Nica until the very end in her home where she has spent so many happy days chasing tennis balls, barking for carrots, and just being loved and adored. I know she wasn't scared or anxious (honestly, I'm not sure she was ever scared a day in her life) and she passed away surrounded by the people who meant the most to her. A lot of people have asked me if it's really "worth it" and my response is always "Absolutely and if you can get Dr. Woodruff, you will be unbelievably glad you did." Thanks, doc. You are truly a blessing."
Jennifer KelchHillsboro, Missouri
"My family is extremely grateful for the service of Dr. Dawnetta Woodruff and Dr. Keri Morgan to help us manage Molly’s final days. While we are sad that our sweet Molly is no longer in our lives, a day after her passing, we are feeling mostly relief that Molly is no longer suffering.
Dr. Dawnetta was so warm, compassionate, and professional in managing our Molly’s euthanasia. Molly passed peacefully and tranquilly in our home, in her bed, and in our arms. I would not want it to be any other way."
Robert KantermanSt. Louis, Missouri
"We were so lucky to have Dr. Carrie with us during a hard day. She was so respectful and walked us through the process so that we felt comfortable with what was going on.
Her soothing demeanor really made our dog at ease and that made a world of difference. We felt her genuine compassion and love of animals throughout the process.
We couldn't have asked for more from her - we will be recommending to others who may be in the same sad situation as we were in yesterday."
Jessica GuntherSt. Louis, MO, Missouri
"Dr. Woodruff was wonderful throughout our difficult time. I never thought this would be so hard but she made it much easier. I highly recommend this service be performed at home in a special place like we did. Bella was on her comfy bed listening to the birds chirp and the wind gently blowing on her as she left us :(
I am not sure if we will ever get another dog, that's how special Bella was. One of a kind with a heart of gold and loved to play and make us happy. Good Bye My Sweet Bella :(. Daddy will play with you again but not yet.
Thanks again Dr. Dawn :)
Jeff HetzelWeldon Spring, 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