Brad Bates

People often ask me why I do what I do. For me, the ability to help pets and their loving families through a difficult time, and in doing so provide more comfort for everyone involved, is more than enough reason. It is a huge honor to help pets spend their last days or weeks or even months in more comfort, and with their families by their side. Everyone speaks of the difficulty of providing hospice care, but for me it is never difficult. Each and every pet and family I help shows me a deeper appreciation for the human animal bond. I feel the love between a family and a pet every time I step into a new home. It is a wonderful thing to be a part of, and to make a difficult situation better is exactly the reason I became a veterinarian. 

I received my veterinary degree from the University of Pennsylvania. Although I have experience in a wide array of small animal care, end-of-life and hospice care has truly been a calling for me. I'm so grateful that I can share my experience and understanding to you.

Like most veterinarians, my home consists of many pet children: I have 3 cats and a chinchilla. Like most pet parents, I understand the fear involved when they are sick. The fear of not knowing what to do, how to help, what is too much and most importantly when is it an appropriate time to let them pass peacefully. These are tough decisions, and you need the assistance of someone that will focus on you and your pet specifically. I offer the service I would want in return when those sad days happen to me. Being at home, surrounded by loved ones, and a peaceful goodbye.

One thing I’ve learned after being blessed with such great pets in the past, is that you have to enjoy the time you have with them. Time is less important than quality of time. I remember my little Laker. He was a sickly kitten, born with FeLV infection. He was sick with a severe respiratory infection due to his diminished immune system. His mother had to push him away from the litter. I cared for him and nursed him to health and he became a happy healthy kitten. But at aged 2 he developed lymphoma secondary to FeLV. Poor Laker was quite sick and I tried to help. But there was no medicine that could make him better. Once I thought his quality of life was diminishing and not improving, I let him pass peacefully with the help of my colleague. It was the most difficult day of my life, and that time was the most difficult time of my life to this day, and probably forever. But the thought of him suffering or becoming sicker was worse. I thank the stars every day that I was able to let him pass peacefully before he suffered to death.  He will be in my heart forever.

Spoil your pets and enjoy the laughs they bring when they are silly. Honor and remember them when they have passed. I never think of the day I will be without my pets. It helps that every day they make me laugh and smile. 

Dr. Brad - In the News:

"Lap of Love franchisees offer palliative veterinary care" ~, April 10, 2016

"Pet Hospice Helps Owners Say Good Bye" ~ USA Today, December 11, 2013

"Philly veterinarian offers in-home pet hospice" ~, October 9, 2013

Leslie Krienke

I’m originally from the suburbs just north of Boston, which means I’m no stranger to cold weather. Growing up, I was always drawn toward a career of service, so I started by serving my country. I attended the United States Military Academy at West Point and upon graduation I was commissioned as an officer in the US Army. In the Army I witnessed the awe-inspiring abilities of service animals. I marveled at the human-animal bond between soldiers with PTSD and service dogs. The dedication and loyalty that these animals and humans provided each other compelled me to pursue veterinary medicine. My sense of service grew into a desire to foster and protect this bond.

After leaving the Army, I attended Tufts Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine. I felt every success and heartache alongside the families we helped. For me, the most fulfilling was serving as the support for a family experiencing the loss of their loved one. I have experienced loss in a variety of ways throughout my life-including several of my own pets. Recently, I said goodbye to my 9-year-old cat, George, who had lymphoma. I am thankful for the time I had with him and miss him every day. He is always in my heart and memories, and I am grateful for the peaceful passing he had.  

The bond between people and our pets is strong, and it is real. I was drawn to a career in end-of-life care to be able to support and comfort families and their loved ones through this process. It is an honor to help families in such a delicate and meaningful way.  

Outside of veterinary medicine, I enjoy spending time outdoors hiking, biking, and running. The beach is one of my favorite places to spend the day with my husband, young son, and our dog.

Lucy Astor

I am originally from the Jersey Shore and, as many kids do, I grew up wanting to be a Veterinarian. Once I got to high school, though, I became interested in human geriatric medicine, so I started my college career at NYU as a pre-med student. During college, I realized my one true passion was in the veterinary field. I transferred to the University of Maryland College Park to major in Animal Science and then went on to obtain my degree in Veterinary Medicine at the University of Minnesota in St. Paul. It’s exactly what I was meant to do.

Immediately following veterinary school, I completed a rotating general internship and a specialty internship in Internal Medicine at Garden State Veterinary Specialists.  It was there that I met my incredible husband, and we (and our combined five cats!) started a fantastic journey together that would take us to Florida, Chicago, New York City, and eventually landing happily in the Philly suburbs.  Along the way, we heartbreakingly had to say goodbye to three of our loving cats but also joyously welcomed three beautiful (human) babies into our home. 

While working in Emergency Medicine, I discovered my interest in veterinary hospice and end-of life care.  The experience of connecting with families to assist them and their beloved companions during such an emotional time was beyond rewarding. It made me realize how passionate I am about being able to help guide pets and families through the difficult journey of saying goodbye. It moved me to join Lap of Love, where I am honored to provide this care to you and your family.

Taking care of three young boys and two geriatric kitties leaves little time for hobbies, but in my precious spare time, you’ll find me cooking, working out, or at the shore.

Toni Knox

I was born and raised in the Germantown section of Philadelphia. I’ve always had an affinity for all animals and my mother has often told me stories of how I gave her small heart attacks when I little because I was known to let go of her hand to cross the street and make any animal I saw my new friend. During social events, like birthday parties, I was often found hidden away in a quiet corner or under the table with a friend’s pet. When I was 8 years old, after noticing my curiosity and love for animals, my mom explained to me that there were actual doctors for animals! From that point on my goal was crystal clear: become a veterinarian. I later attended Tuskegee University to study Animal Science and continued on to Purdue University College of Veterinary Medicine where I obtained my Veterinary Degree. Upon graduation, I immediately returned to Philadelphia, the city I love, for the start of my Veterinary Career. 

My interests include Internal Medicine, Feline Medicine, Pathology, but most important of all is the Human-Animal Bond. I have had numerous pets during my lifetime, so I appreciate and fully value the strong bond that we create with the pets we care for and share our lives with. I know that loving a pet also means that we, the pet parents, will suffer an inevitable heartache when it is time for us to say goodbye. One of the most unique and beautiful privileges we have as veterinarians is to support and guide our client’s in the decision to give the selfless and loving gift of alleviating the suffering of their beloved pet. I am honored to be a Lap of Love veterinarian and I am committed to being there for you and your loved ones during these difficult times.

When I am not practicing medicine, I am often spending time with family, reading, and crafting. I am also a mom to a bright, energetic gentleman and five fur babies - Eden, King, Autumn, Hamish, and Velcro.