Christina Howard

I always had a love for animals. Growing up in rural New Jersey, I spent every moment I could at a local stable mucking stalls, grooming horses, and riding. I started out taking lessons and soon ended up with two horses of my own. My desire to provide top-notch care to them inspired me to learn more about veterinary medicine, and, by age 12, I had quite a collection of veterinary textbooks and magazines. Whenever our veterinarian visited, I asked him all sorts of questions about what I read and he patiently answered every single one of them. His huge wealth of knowledge and ability to positively impact my horse’s well-being inspired me to pursue veterinary medicine as my lifelong career. 
 
Once I decided veterinary medicine was my desired profession, I sought out any animal experience I could find. In high school and college, I spent time at a mixed animal veterinary practice and worked at numerous horse farms. I even spent two months at a sea turtle rehabilitation center in Athens, Greece. After attending veterinary school at North Carolina State University and completing an internship at the University of Pennsylvania’s New Bolton Center, my husband and I relocated to the Pacific Northwest where I worked for several years as an equine ambulatory veterinarian. I also became certified in veterinary acupuncture and chiropractic care, expanding the level of care I can offer to my clients and patients. 
 
As a veterinarian, I have the privilege of walking into other people’s homes and lives and helping them make important decisions about their family member. I love being a veterinarian because, by sharing my knowledge with owners, I positively impact the bond between my clients and their four-legged family members. I particularly love geriatric medicine because there is nothing more satisfying than having a positive impact on helping these patients. And while I love so many aspects of veterinary medicine, I often find that the most meaningful appointments are those in which an owner has to say goodbye to their best friend and confidant. 
 
Now, as a member of Lap of Love, I help families enrich the lives of their older pet, and, when the time comes, help them pass peacefully at home surrounded by those who love them the most.  
 
When I am not helping pets and their families, I spend my free time traveling and hiking around the Pacific Northwest with my husband, Chris. I also spent time riding Sampson, a lovely warmblood gelding at a local eventing barn.

 

Tara Mudry

I grew up in a large family as the youngest of 6 kids. We lived in rural America and my family spent a tremendous amount of time outdoors camping and hiking. A love and appreciation for nature and all creatures was instilled in us from a very young age. We were taught to be kind and compassionate to all living things, so rescuing and adopting homeless animals was just a way of life for my family. I can’t remember a day when the love and companionship of pets was missing from my family.

Becoming a veterinarian to help animals and their families was a natural career choice for me.  I earned both my Bachelor of Science in Psychology and Doctorate in Veterinary Medicine at Colorado State University. I’ve worked in private practice caring for large and small animals. I’ve enjoyed the rewards and challenges unique to the different species. As an Army Reserve veterinarian, I have cared for military working dogs as well as the valued pets of service members. I also had the opportunity to participate in humanitarian missions providing preventative medicine and animal care to a vast array of species in under-developed areas around the world.

I feel so fortunate to work with such a compassionate and dedicated team of professionals. I am honored to provide exceptional care and support to pets and families who need us. I am humbled to offer some peace of mind and comfort to families during a time filled with such heartache. For no matter how long our pets are part of our lives, it’s never long enough. It’s a privilege in the veterinary profession to prevent unnecessary suffering of beloved pets by offering the choice of a peaceful passing.

“Until one has loved an animal, a part of their soul remains unawakened.” – Anatole France. 

Our furry companions teach us invaluable life lessons since they don’t judge, hate, discriminate, hold grudges or care about money. They love unconditionally and that’s all they want in return. To thank them for this gift, I do this in loving memory of all those I have loved and lost, but not forgotten. Cherished memories of them will always brighten my day and bring a smile to my face.

“Life in not measured by the number of breaths we take but by the moments that take our breath away.” – Vicki Corona

My family strives to live by this motto. We are outdoor enthusiasts, so we love living in the beautiful Pacific Northwest and appreciate all it has to offer. We invest our time in creating memories and checking off adventures. We believe in finding happiness through experiences and nature offers endless possibilities. 

 

Ashleigh Rhoades

I was raised in Phoenix, Arizona with my dogs, cats, guinea pigs, snakes and even a rat here and there.  As long as I can remember, I have loved animals and needed them to be a part of my life. Even though Phoenix was a large city, we were very close to the desert environment which meant different types of wildlife animals.  Helping wildlife animals in need also became a big part of my childhood and helped drive me toward a career with animals.

However, that career didn’t start in veterinary medicine. I spent a lot of time working with zoo animals and wildlife before deciding that being a veterinarian was my calling.  I attended the University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine in hopes of one day becoming a wildlife veterinarian.  However, during my internship working with cats and dogs, I was reminded of how important our household pets can be. Every animal in the world is special, but our pets are a huge part of our FAMILY.

The hardest part starting out in the veterinary profession was the thought of putting an animal to sleep.  I quickly learned that this task was not a burden, but a gift.  As an emergency veterinarian for many years, I have had the privilege of helping lots of animals and this includes helping end an animal’s suffering in the last moments of their life.  The struggle to make the tough decision in the final moments will always be the hardest part of the human animal bond.  It is not something that gets easier with time and it is my honor to be able to help families say goodbye when this time comes.

Hannah Moloney

I grew up in Western Australia with a number of pets including dogs, chickens, rats, guinea pigs and small birds. Most of my childhood was spent running around outside with my Border Collie, Jessie. At an early age, I began to appreciate the special connection that we have with our pets. They become our family members and our best friends. 

I pursued a career in veterinary medicine to help people care for their animals and foster the beautiful connection they have. Upon graduation from veterinary school, I moved abroad and practiced for four years as a small animal veterinarian in Canada before moving to Washington State. Working as a general practice veterinarian had both its challenges and rewards. I adored all my patients but truly enjoyed working with geriatric pets. I found it very rewarding to be able to improve their quality of life and ease suffering as they battled chronic conditions and illness. 

Saying goodbye to a beloved animal is never easy. Through Lap of Love, I feel honored and privileged to be able to provide care in these difficult moments; care not only to the animals that I see, but also to the people who have made them feel loved and cherished their entire lives. By focusing on end of life care, I can provide the peaceful passing that every pet deserves and offer unconditional support to families during this delicate moment.