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 could write a book about our baby girl, Hannah. Anyone who knows us, understands how much our girls mean to us. They are our children. I knew Hannah was coming home with me the moment I saw her. I kneeled down near the cage and this spotted 4-month old puppy licked my face, she was no longer known as a "shelter pup". Twelve years later, and Hannah was still my baby. She had freckles like her mom (me!), and the markings like one of her sisters. Hannah loved long walks on our property, her favorite water hole in the creek, any mud puddle she could find, and spending any time she could with her mom, dad and her two sisters (Haley and Kemah).
On March 29, 2017, Hannah was diagnosed with a brain tumor. She became quite ill and also went blind overnight. I felt like my world was crashing down on me. We all know our pets don't get the life span they deserve, but when that time comes, you're never prepared. She was put on a few meds and within a week, she was feeling better. Hannah proved to us just how strong she was. She was blind, but she managed to make her way around the homestead quite well.
We knew we wanted to do things differently. If we would need to euthanize her, we wanted her to feel safe, comfortable, and relaxed. We knew we wanted her home with us and her sissies. This is when I discovered Lap of Love. I sent an email, because I couldn't speak about it over the phone without crying, and within an hour, I had a message.
Hannah's doctor was Dr. Dawnetta Woodruff. We had Dr. Dawnetta visit our home so she could meet Hannah, give us her opinion, and we wanted to make sure she was the "right fit". My husband and I instantly felt a connection, and we were so comfortable with her. Hannah seemed to do very well with her, as well. Dr. Dawnetta was in contact with us for the next couple months.
Anyone in this situation, knows this is one of the toughest decisions ever to be made. We struggled with it..."when is the right time", "is she suffering", "am I waiting too long", "does she have more life in her"...so many questions run through your head. We wanted as much time as we could get with Hannah, but we also didn't want to be selfish. Anytime I had questions, I knew I could reach out to Dr. Dawnetta, and I'd get a response back immediately.
Our last week with Hannah was tough. She started having seizures and constantly panting. Dr. Dawnetta coached us through everything....our emotions, our fears, how to tell "it was time". On July 9, the day our Hannah left us was one of the toughest times we've ever been through. Dr. Dawnetta was patient with us, she explained everything, made us as comfortable as we could be, and also made sure Haley and Kemah were doing ok during the process.
Our family is still struggling with the loss of Hannah, and Dr. Dawnetta continues to play a part in the healing process. She has a huge heart, and is very compassionate, caring, and we could not have asked for a better person to be by our side. My husband and I can't thank her enough for everything she's done for our family.
Much love, and THANK YOU for everything,
Jamie, Mellisia, Haley, Kemah, and our sweet Hannah"
Mellisia KeltonSt. Louis, Missouri
"The words that comfort me every day when I think about Louis..."He is running free now". These were said to me by Dr. Keri Morgan when we sent Louis to the Rainbow Bridge. She is one of an extraordinary group of vets who made one of the worst days in my life really beautiful. This is the second time I have had Lap of Love come to my house. When it is time for Lucy, our great pyrenees to leave our world, I will have them back again.. Both Dr. Woodruff and Dr. Morgan, are the most caring, compassionate people I have ever met. Dr. Morgan explained everything to me. She loved Louis the minute she saw him---that was evident---and loved him even more by the end. Thanks to this service, the end of life of our pets has been loving and peaceful. I am so grateful to have Lap of Love in my life."
Elaine WoodcockSt. Louis, Missouri
"Our sweet beagle, Katie, had been in our family for 16 loving years. I was only seven years old when we took her home, so it's safe to say she was like a sister to me. She was with me through middle school, high school and college. During her last two years with us she was battling liver cancer, and although it took a toll on her, she prevailed through her diagnosis and reached full remission. Even though our family was elated for her recovery, we knew it was only a matter of time before we would have to say goodbye.
To say this dog was loved would be an understatement. She had such a big personality, and it filled our home with constant laughter and joy. She was such a beautiful creature, with so many quirks. In those last two years, her parts began to fail slowly. Her legs lost their strength, her eyesight diminished and her hearing disappeared. Some might find those things to be disheartening, but I think they brought us closer to Katie. My mother was her primary caretaker, but I was lucky enough to take care of her on several occasions. Helping her when she needed us the most allowed us to form a stronger bond, especially because she had helped us in so many ways during her 16 years on Earth.
In June of 2017 it became increasingly clear that her time was coming to an end. It's nearly impossible to fully prepare yourself to say goodbye to such a big part of your family, but we did our best. Katie made it clear when she was ready to go. It was getting late on a Wednesday evening and we desperately began calling the folks at Lap of Love. We simply could not fathom the thought of taking her to a clinic, but there was no time to wait. She was suffering from a UTI, and we could tell she was in pain. We were so incredibly grateful when Dr. Dawnetta said she would come to our home.
When she arrived, her presence was incredibly calming. She handled the situation with such grace and dignity. It can be difficult to be so vulnerable in front of strangers, but with Dr. Dawnetta we had no trouble expressing our emotions. She was incredibly reassuring, knowledgable and kind. Our entire family felt safe and comfortable knowing she was the one taking care of our beloved beagle. After she left, it became clear how much she cares about what she does. We knew she had really listened to what we shared with her because she sent us a memorial detailing all of our favorite Katie stories, which was so touching.
From our entire family we would like to thank Dr. Dawnetta and the Lap of Love team for taking such good care of our family and our amazing dog. From the in-home care to the extra touches they provide like the paw-print molds and the beautiful box for her ashes, we could not have asked for a better way to say goodbye."
Andrea HermannSaint Louis, Missouri
"We are very grateful for Dr. Dawnetta's love, patience and understanding. She explained the procedure and what was going to happen so we understood. She listened to us tell our story about our beloved dog Kate and she remembered it well when she wrote her testimonial on Facebook. She let us take all the time we needed with Kate. She gave us choices and we were made to feel comfortable in our grief. Having Kate be able to leave this life in the comfort of our home was a blessing to all. We were honored to be able to carry her out of our home so as to complete our time with us. We brought her into our home on January 3, 2009 and carried her out on July 9, 2017. We are forever thankful. We will grieve our Kate in the days to come, but Dr. Dawnetta's presence was such a help.
Lucy Freeman and Brian McGowan"
Lucy FreemanSt. Louis, Missouri
"We are so very grateful for Lap of Love and the service they provide. Working up to making that first initial phone call was so difficult, but we knew right away that we were going to be in good hands. In particular, we would like to thank Dr. Carrie for making what seemed like an impossibly difficult situation so much more comfortable. She assured us we were making the best possible choice for our pet. She showed immense compassion and understanding, and guided us along through the process with her. Gordo felt extremely calm being in his own, comfortable surroundings. It was absolutely the best choice we could have made."
Scott, Andrea, & Kyle FehrChesterfield, Missouri
"Dr. Dawnetta has offered her skilled and thoughtful style to us twice now, as last year we released the spirit of 19-year-old fur baby Ashley, and just a few days ago that of her brother, Simba. The process of saying goodbye to a pet is never easy; if the only aspect of consideration were to bring relief to our pets' pain, the needed assistance would be a no-brainer. But Dr. Dawnetta has gone beyond that in understanding and ministering to the owners, knowing that making this decision can be frought with doubt and concern about "is it time". This time Simba definitely let us know that he had lived a long, happy life, and was ready to leave this earthly body for the perpetual one that will join with his spirit crossing the Rainbow Bridge. Thank you, Dr. Dawnetta, for being the right person at the right time, sharing your compassion not only to the fur baby, but to the parents. We are forever grateful! - Peggy & Garth Davis"
Peggy White-DavisDardenne Prairie, 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