Greater Jacksonville and St. Johns Area
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 wooden urn (engraved nameplate is optional) and will be returned to your primary care veterinarian within two weeks. They can also be made available directly from the crematory.
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 the crematory.
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 7am - 11pm. 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.
Katie Stender, DVM
I will never forget the day our beloved yellow Labrador, Daisy, took her journey to the rainbow bridge. She was 12 years old and could no longer get up because of her chronic arthritis, and we knew it was time. It was very early in the morning, and my whole family was there as we greeted our vet at the door. Daisy was resting comfortably in her bed with her duck toy, and we all said our goodbyes, even Daisy's brother, our orange tabby, Skippy. The lasting memories of Daisy sleeping in her bed as our vet gently explained the process, made us feel at peace with this difficult decision. I have been forever grateful that she was able to do that for us, and for Daisy, and when I became a veterinarian, I felt honored and privileged to be able to do the same for other families. I graduated from the University of Florida with a Bachelors of Science and Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine. I share a home with my significant other, Taylor, and our four furry children. I have a special place in my heart for cats, and I have three of my own. We also have a black Labrador, Lady, who loves to go for car rides and garden with her dad. One of my favorite things about my profession is that I'm able to help animals, but also build lasting relationships with their owners.
Katie Stender, DVM
"My sweet greyhound Lacey loved everyone, loved to hug and be hugged. She lived to be 12 years and 8 months. Lacey developed a peripheral nerve disorder and arthritis that made it difficult to get up and sometimes made her stumble. We had yoga mats all over the house so she wouldn't slip. She had wonderful compensation skills, and if she stumbled knew to hop right away with both back legs off the ground to straighten herself out. Lacey was a beautiful example and inspiration because she kept going with an "it doesn't matter" attitude through her difficulties. She knew how much she was loved.
She was a serious cheese lover, begging for cheese each night. I jokingly said it was her medicine, and believe it really was a medicine of sorts.
Those were the good moments.
But each day held increasing difficulty, and I know she was tired.
It is such a painful and personal decision to end your pets life, especially while there are still good times and love being enjoyed.
We've had 3 greyhounds and when they became incapacitated, we found we couldn't just pick them up and take them to the vet. They are awkward to lift, being large deep chested dogs with those long skinny legs.
So on that day I cried and agonized (not in front of Lacey), and made that most difficult decision and phone call that every pet lover dreads.
I spoke to Cheryl, who was very kind and caring, explaining the process and setting the time. Dr. Katie then called to introduce herself and let me know just as Cheryl had that she would be taking very good care of my sweet baby.
Dr. Katie called again just prior to her arrival, continuing to reassure me that Lacey was in good hands.
Dr. Katie was wonderful. It's obvious she has a sincere love for animals and she couldn't have made the experience any better. She came in, exclaimed how beautiful Lacey was and immediately sat down and loved on her. She was unhurried, examining Lacey and taking her medical history while we talked. Lacey was completely comfortable, halfway taking a nap while all this took place Dr. Katie even laid down next to her and petted her as I often do.
Dr. Katie explained everything she was going to do and waited until I was ready.
A really special thing I did not expect was her offer to make a impression of Lacey's paw print and take a lock of her fur for me to have. Both are SO comforting to have.
Praise God He allowed this to happen as it did, for connecting me with Lap of Love, Cheryl and Dr. Katie and that Lacey left having a good day.
Thank you SO much Dr. Katie for making this most difficult time a warm memory filled with love, and for the caring you give to us humans as well. You are an Angel here on earth!
Blessings, Love and Gratitude,
"Dear Dr. Mc Vety, Dr. Gardner, and Dr. Stender,
I would like to take this moment to commend Dr. Katie Stender for her caring, kindness, professional, and patient personality traits on her recent visit to my home in North Florida. I could not have hand picked a more wholesome and caring soul to accompany me during this most difficult time. Dr. Stender may be delivering our beloved furry friends their Angel wings, and allowing them to pass peacefully, but Dr. Katie has already obtained her Angel wings. Dr. Stender is every employers dream emplyee. Dr. Stender is a true asset to your organization, and I was honored to have her perform this difficult task for my beloved Chocolate Labrador, Lacy. I was honored with the presence of Lacy for almost 13.5 years. It was difficult to let her go, though I know if I had her for a number of years more that those years would not have been enough either. Unfortunately her time here on earth was through. My animals are my children. Dr. Katie allowed me to say my goodbye in an unrushed manner. For that I am eternally grateful. It is my wish for your organization that all of your Veternarians are as special and caring as Dr. Stender. I look forward to crossing the Rainbow Bridge with my beloved pets (past,present,and future) one day. Bless Dr. Stender, You the founding members, your organization, and all of your employees. You perform an unwelcomed task with care, patience, and dignity. I am forever grateful.
Respectfully, Lou Frost"
Louis FrostYulee, Florida
"Dr Katie was here for my baby named Scooby and for our family when we needed her most. Her kindness and compassion meant the world to us. This was a very difficult decision for us but Dr Katie reassured us and fully explained every step. I would recommend LapofLove and their services to every pet lover in this extremely difficult situation. From the first difficult phone call through to the final hugs from Dr Katie I felt the concern kindness and compassion from LapofLove. Thank you for giving our Scooby his angel wings."
Traci ArmandFleming Island, Florida
"It has now been two weeks since the passing of our dear Forrest. Dr. Katie was so magnificent with our family as we experienced this heart wrenching event. She loved on Forrest like her own and was always open for our questions and emotions. Dr. Katie was so sweet and genuinely concerned. She followed up in the days passed to make sure we were coping okay. Some days are easier than others, but we know Forrest no longer suffers and is watching over us all the time. The services of Lap of Love is so much better than going to any vet. Thanks Dr. Katie!"
Kelly EdenfieldSaint Johns, Florida
"When the time comes, every pet lover secretly hopes their furry companion will just peacefully leave them while in their sleep.
For whatever reason, not one of mine has ever left of their own accord and I have faced the struggle of:
"Is it too soon?"
"Is it too late and I'm being selfish to keep you with me?"
"Are you hurting more than you show, my beloved friend?"
"Is this a God decision and I should leave it in His hands?"
And the hardest one, "How can I drive you, my best friend, to a sterile office that always strikes terror, put you on a stainless steel table and watch a stranger stick a fatal IV in your front paw?"
When the weather turned cold around Christmas, and my 16 year old friend, Ziggy, took a very sudden turn for the worst, having a hard time to just get outside, I was faced with these heart-wrenching questions once again.
My struggle intensified because trips to the Vet with Zig were always traumatic. He'd work himself into such a frenzy, we needed to plan for an extra hour to cool his temperature down with ice packs, just to administer vaccines. I could image us both hysterical in our last moments together, as it had been 2 years ago for our 3rd BFF, Sadie.
Two friends and fellow pet lovers facing the same questions with beloved companions, had recently used an in-home vet, Dr. Katie. Calling her at Lap of Love was the best advice I had ever taken.
When Dr. Katie came, she examined Zig, answering all my questions and giving me the peace of mind that it was the right time. Her method and presence is so compassionate and unobtrusive, that Zig and my last moments together were so very special and intimate, unlike any previous experiences.
Ziggy peacefully fell asleep on our bed, lavished with petties and hugs, my last gift to him on this side of the bridge...
If you are asking yourself the questions I asked above, Dr. Katie may be your answer, as she was mine.
Thank you Dr. Katie. May love and light be with you wherever you go."
Deb AcklerJacksonville, Florida
"Words are inadequate to express how grateful I am for the loving presence and support of Dr. Katie Stender as we said goodbye to our beloved Stella. Her calm and peaceful spirit soothed both Stella and me during a most difficult time as Stella passed from this world to the next. Though it was and is a painful time for us, she made Stella's passing lovely and dignified and I will always think of her and Lap of Love with deep gratitude in my heart."
Lindsay BergstromJacksonville, Florida
Pet Life and Loss Support Services
Affiliated Veterinary Emergency Center
Clay-Duval Pet Emergency Clinic
Emergency & Critical Care Pet Hospital
St Augustine Regional Veterinary Emergency Center
Helping families in the following areas:
We proudly serves families in all of the northeast portion of Florida, from Fernandina down to Middleburg, including St. Johns.
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.
1650 Margaret St. Ste. 302 # 207Jacksonville, FL 32204
The Florida Times: A death in the family: Saying goodbye to Ruby Ann