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, 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
"Dr. Dawnetta was such a gift to our family as we made a very difficult decision. She offered Norman and us such comfort. We couldn’t have asked for a more beautiful and peaceful experience as we helped our sweet boy to rest. Thank you for being such an amazing part of Norman’s journey here on earth. We will be forever grateful for you, Dr. Dawnetta."
Sarah SegerSt. Louis, Missouri
"My sincerest thank you to the folks at Lap of Love. Making the decision to let go of Rocky was so difficult. And even though I’m a hospice nurse, I was not emotionally prepared for this day to come. Knowing that Rocky died pain free and feeling the love of his family has made my heart break more tolerable.
Dr. Woodruff was kind, professional, and informative. I sincerely appreciate her empathy towards my teenage daughter and for making her a separate clay paw print to cherish.
Your genuine love of pets and their people shined through and brightened up our cloudiest day. Thank you."
Jennifer EllisShrewsbury, Missouri
"Dr. Dawnetta Woodruff was the best. She guided us with love and compassion. Her experience and kindness is a blessing. We adore her. She made an extremely sad time "doable". Since our time with Dr. Dawnetta, I have met others who she also helped. All of us love her. She has a long list of people who she has helped and lives she enriched. God bless Dr. Dawnetta - she is a truly wonderful person."
Melissa WetteSt. Louis, Missouri
"In Fall of 2015, I had helped my boyfriend set up Lap of Love for his ailing golden retriever and she crossed the rainbow bridge with their help in January 2017. It was such a calm process that I knew if the services were ever needed, I wouldn't hesitate for my own dogs.
Fast forward to March 2018, my lab Finn was diagnosed with a severe fungal infections in his sinuses. We thought we were going to lose him a couple of times, but he fought and beat it, but his body was never the same again.
In the past couple of weeks, it seemed that his body had grown tired and he stopped eating and eventually drinking on his own. After spending the past 7 months going to his primary vet and specialist for blood tests, scans etc. I wanted him to have the dignity and comfort of dying at home surrounded by his people and canine sister.
This past week I made the phone call and had a consultation with Dr. Keri Morgan. She explained to me that since we didn't know (even with all the tests) what was actually going on with Finn that it was likely kidney failure as some blood tests might have hinted at. She also explained to me that he was likely feeling ucky, like you do with the flu. That was something that stuck with me because I have had the flu before and knew firsthand how terrible you feel.
I had the next day off of work and got to spend a lot of quality time with him.
On his last day, Finn eagerly went on a walk with all of us. It was a beautiful crisp Fall morning and the sun was bright in the blue sky. I knew that I had to let him go.
When Dr. Dawnetta came to the house, she talked with us and allowed us to talk (for as long as needed). She took her time and didn't begin until we felt comfortable. She allowed him to pick his spot which happened to be in his bed in front of the fireplace. I had concerns because Finn hated being forced into a down or lying on his side position, so for her to just let him be comfortable was such a relief.
She was so gentle with his body and explained everything as she went. She sat with us after his passing.
I know it seems weird to say that it was such a beautiful end to his chapter here on Earth, but it was the best choice I could have made for him in the situation. I am so glad that I was able to let him pass at home.
Without hesitation, I would recommend the team at Lap of Love, even the ladies who answered the phones were awesome!
Our pets give us so much so to be able to give them a peaceful passing seems like a small gesture.
I would absolutely use them again in the future."
Elizabeth PSt Louis, Missouri
"We are so appreciative of Dr. Morgan and Lap of Love for making Pugsley's last day special. We appreciate the gentleness, the help, and encouraging words. Dr. Morgan and Lap of Love made Pugsley's death a little easier. We will forever remember her and Lap of Love."
Misty MelsonWentzville, Missouri
"Dr. Dawnetta Woodruff and the staff at Lap of Love were so very caring and capable. It was a terrible surprise to learn how sick our dog Wil was one morning when we took him into an emergency vet. We only had a few hours to decide what to do as it was clear he was beginning to suffer and it would get worse quickly. We knew we didn't want to put Wil through another trip back to a stressful regular vets office visit to have him put down. Our vets office told us about Lap of Love. When we called them they asked all the right questions with compassion and we were told a vet could come as soon as early that evening, we were so relieved. Dr. Dawnetta was immediately incredibly perceptive, knowing what questions to ask and what Wil and the family needed from her. She was very capable and caring. You could tell how well she loved and understood animals. His passing was as comfortable for all of us as it could be and we are forever grateful."
Jan RoddySaint 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