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
"10 days ago my husband & I had to make the heartbreaking choice that no pet parent wants to make. Lap of Love & Dr. Dawnetta Woodruff made that choice bearable. Both Valerie from the office & Dr. Dawnetta were nothing but understanding, sympathetic & caring beyond belief. From the time Dr. Dawnetta called on the phone to let us know when she would be arriving until the time she left with our precious Maggie we knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that we had made the right choice. She was so gentle & loving with Maggie and explained every part of the process to us. She gave us all the time we needed. Death with dignity in her own home was what our Maggie deserved and what Dr. Dawnetta provided. We are forever grateful for Dr. Dawnetta & the service provided by Lap of Love."
Dianne BiermanImperial, Missouri
"Dr. Dawnetta you are truly an angel! With your sweet spot for German Shepherds, I believe it was meant to be you here with us that day. We filled Buck’s morning with hugs, kisses and lots of treats! As the clock counted down the minutes until you were to arrive it became extremely hard to accept what was coming. You came into our house with such a warm and gentle spirit and it really made the experience peaceful for us. I even requested an ink paw print, which I’m so thankful for along with the paw impression keepsake. Buck gave us 13 years of joy and love, not to mention protection as Shepherds do. He deserved the best his whole life and he was spoiled rotten until the end. Thank you so so so much, Dr. Dawnetta. You really are a special sole and are truly meant to do what you do!"
Kelly SahrmannSt Charles, Missouri
"We had Lap of Love (Dr. Morgan) come to our house to put our sweet Bella to sleep. She had been diagnosed with bone cancer and we knew the time had come for us to let her go. Bella was a real house dog -- except for walks, she did not like going places ... especially the vet.
Using Lap of Love was such a blessing for us and Bella. Dr. Morgan was so patient -- explaining the process to us, listening to our stories about Bella, and especially letting Bella guide the timing. There was no sense of rush. It was a very intimate experience. Yes, tears were shed, but there was great peace in knowing our girl was not suffering any more and had been set free from the confines of her home."
Linda LipaSt. Louis, Missouri
"Dr. Keri Morgan was outstanding during this difficult time for me. She called ahead of time to let me know she was en route and arrived within the appropriate time frame. She was warm, gentle, and kind to both Aphrodite and myself. Would definitely reccomend her to other locals in a similar situation with their dying pet. She even wrote a memorial for my dog the next day, Saturday!"
Kate CurranSt. Louis, Missouri
"We are so lucky to have found Dr. Morgan and Lap of Love. When we realized surgery wouldn't be a good option for our 8-year old Pyranees mix, Eddie, we were at a loss for how to care for him. We found out about Lap of Love online and thought it could be a good fit. Dr. Morgan was so wonderful to work with and is the reason we were able to do the best thing for Eddie. She came to our house and was an immediately calming presence. Eddie and the rest of our animals took to her immediately, and she listened to all we had to say while diligently reviewing Eddie's medical records. She told us Eddie was in the "gray" zone and helped us understand that he was giving pain signals we hadn't been seeing. We decided to try some pain medication to see if that would help, and Dr. Morgan made solid recommendations and gave us a game plan for caring for Eddie going forward. Over the next two weeks we came to realize that Eddie wasn't doing as well as we thought before talking to Dr. Morgan. The pain meds had minimal effect, and while it was sooner than we were prepared for, we realized Eddie's time had come. We had a wonderful last morning with Eddie. We gave him steak and butternut squash for breakfast, gave him a raw beef bone to chew, and took him on one last walk on his old loop. When Dr. Morgan arrrived, she was swift in helping us get Eddie prepared, but we didn't feel rushed. She knew we needed to just get on with it. We had Eddie on our bed, his favorite place, and Dr. Morgan prepared us once more for the process. It took longer than we expected to help Eddie pass (he was very large and always a sweet, stubborn boy) but Dr. Morgan remained such a calm and confident presence throughout. It was so hard to be part of those final moments, but we wouldn't have wanted to be anywhere else at that time. I got to hold Eddie until the end, and it meant so much to me that he could be comfortable at home with someone he trusted. After he passed, Dr. Morgan moved quickly to finish our appointment so we could grieve, which we really appreciated.
While losing Eddie has been incredibly painful, I can't explain how good it feels to know we helped him move on at the right time. We didn't wait until he was suffering terribly, and we knew he was comfortable and happy at the end. We would not have been able to give Eddie this final gift if we hadn't found Lap of Love. Everyone we interacted with from start to finish was so professional and so compassionate. I am recommending them to all my friends and family with pets. They are amazing, and we will always be grateful for what they did for our family."
Clare PouliotSt. Louis, Missouri
"Dr. Morgan was very caring and explained each step of Dino's passing. She gave us each our own time to spend with our best friend as his spirit was set free."
Krystina GoldenSt. 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