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
"I have waited a few days to write this in hopes that I would find the right words. There is simply no way for me to adequately express my gratitude to Lap of Love and Dr. Dawnetta. As our beloved Kirby, age 17, grew weaker and weaker and more and more confused, I knew it was time to think about what was best for him. Last Tuesday night, he collapsed and was unable to stay upright for more than a moment. I called Lap of Love and was comforted just by the phone call and advice I received from the office and the vet on call. The next morning, Dawnetta arrived. She was so calm and reassuring and comforting. Kirby was not afraid of her and showed none of his usual fear of vets. She did a thorough exam and by her findings, we 100% knew for sure that we were making the right decision for our precious boy. With his loving family around him, he peacefully passed from this world. Each little detail was done with such care and respect and love. Wednesday was truly one of the hardest days of my life, but with Dawnetta's help, I feel comforted that we gave our beloved boy the last greatest gift we could. No last car ride to the scary vet, no more pain or anxiety. Just the warmth and comfort of home and his bed and his loving family surrounding him. Thank you Lap of Love for helping us through this time. From Kirby's loving family RIP Kirby February 7, 2001-January 17, 2018"
Shari TocksteinTrenton, Illinois
"It has taken me a long time to write this because the loss of my Persephone still is so painful. After we found out in early fall that Percy had cancer, her regular vet said the best thing to do was to put her to sleep. I could not accept that. One of my sorority sisters highly recommended Lap of Love. Dr. Keri came to our house and I immediately knew I had made the right choice. She was caring and knowledgeable. Throughout Percy’s illness she was easily accessible but, most importantly, she kept Percy out of pain. It gave me and my daughters over two additional months to love Percy and for Percy to enjoy the last of her time, going on walks and loving and protecting us. When that horrible time came, Dr. Keri helped me know my decision was right and saying goodbye was so much easier at home. I cannot say enough about the service provided by Lap of Love and Dr. Keri. My heart still hurts but I am confident that I did everything for my sweet Persephone 💕"
Kara HortonSaint Louis, Missouri
"11 years ago I got the Best Girl Ever! She went to work with me every day at a retirement center. She worked hard to bring comfort and joy to the residents there. She was a constant companion to me. She always greeted everyone with a welcoming moooo and a toy. She was a pampered pooch. When her kidneys started to fail I tried everything to prolong her life. A year of special diet and low protein treats gave her more time. For me it was not enough. Eventually she was not able to eat or drink and we scheduled an appointment with Lap of Love. Dr.Morgan was so patient to explain what was going on with her and after a box of Kleenex and some heartfelt discussion I realized that it was her time to be "set free" from her pain and suffering. I was apprehensive about doing this at home, but after experiencing the process I would not have rdone it another way. It was so peaceful and compassionate. I had time to grieve in the privacy of my own home and my beloved pet was not subjected to a miserable trip to the vet . Although I love our vet at Hawthorne Animal Hospital and with Dr. Helmers, Addie was not a fan of the vet office experience. Dr. Morgan was patient, compassionate and truly an angel. Pet hospice is the way to make a miserable experience more tolerable. I can't thank Lap of Love enough for their home visit on a Friday night before the New Year holiday weekend to help me say goodbye to a beautiful and loving pet. I miss you Addie. You have touched and been supportive to so many people in your life. I can only hope to be a person that comforts and brings joy to people like you did baby girl. R IP. Thank you Dr.Morgan for making the worst day of my life tolerable."
Julie HurstGlen Carbon, Illinois
"It's been a year since Oscar left me and I miss him EVERY single day, but I am 150% positive that my acceptance of him being gone, affecting my healing process immensely, was so much more enlightened because of Dr. Woodruff coming to my home, to Oscar's home, and having the opportunity to sit on the couch with him in my lap - he went to sleep in my lap the same way he did when he chose me to come home with 21 years earlier, by curling up in my lap and going to sleep...it's given me so much peace to know that he was at ease and that put me at ease."
Sheri JoyceSt. Louis, Missouri
"I lost my beloved kitty cat named Furby today. I am without adequate words to express my appreciation for the experience I had today with Lap Of Love. I've never seen such compassion that the vet had toward us and my Furby. It was a very sad but rewarding experience."
T. L.St. Louis, Missouri
"“Dr. Morgan was very gentle and compassionate and thoroughly answered all my many questions. Euthanizing a pet is one of the toughest decisions to make and I was heartbroken, but doing it at home made all the difference. He was in his happy home (all toasty in his favorite place in front of the fireplace) without the stress of the vet clinic and it couldn't have been more peaceful. Dr. Morgan was so gentle that our cat didn't even flinch with the sedation medication. Plus, we were allowed to hold him and comfort him throughout the whole process. I never expected it would be so easy for him. I am so happy we chose Lap of Love and grateful for Dr. Morgan's help. Thank you so very much."
Betsy T.Webser Groves, 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