Lap Of Love Veterinary Hospice - Love and Dignity, It's What All Pets Deserve

Published on 6 June 2012 in Business
Kim Thomas (author)

Kim Thomas


When a new puppy or kitten finds its home in a family, everyone wants to hold it their lap, cuddling and falling in love with the newest family member. Pets are comforting to their humans and they always seem to know exactly who needs their attention most and no matter what size your dog is, chances are he still wants to climb into your lap. It is our job, as their keepers, to repay this unconditional love and devotion by giving them the best life possible. And when their life is coming to an end, there is no better place for them than at home with their human family.

Lap of Love Veterinary Hospice & In-Home Euthanasia was founded in 2009 by Dr. Dani McVety. Later, Dr. Mary Gardner joined Lap of Love and both of these compassionate doctors have had to make the very difficult decision to euthanize a family pet. Firmly believing in the human-animal bond, Dr. McVety started Lap of Love so that people can privately help their pet ease out of this life calmly and surrounded with love, perhaps even snuggled in the lap of their owner.

Dani McVety is a local Odessa girl who grew up around horses, graduated from Clearwater Central Catholic High School and the University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine. Prior to veterinary school, Dani had experience in human hospice care and she wanted to use that knowledge to help pets.

Dr. Gardner also graduated from University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine, where she and Dani McVety had became good friends. It was her personal experience with providing hospice care to her terminally ill dog that had cancer, and finally having to say goodbye to him at home, that prompted her to join Dr. McVety in this much-needed field of veterinary medicine.

Rarely have I met a business owner that brings me to tears, but in meeting with Dr. McVety, who lost her own little dog recently, and talking about my experience of losing our 14-year-old dog, we both ended up a bit teary-eyed. I could feel her empathy and that she truly, deeply cares for the pets and their owners who call on her.

Just out of veterinary school, Dr. McVety had an experience that impacted her. “I knew I wanted love in the name of my practice,” she explains. “There was this lady who brought her dog in to be euthanized. She was holding and hugging him. He was on her lap and I thought this is how euthanasia should be. Euthanasia literally means good death. Most people just want their animal to die of old age in their sleep – we want that for all of our loved ones but it’s not usually the case. Inhome euthanasia is the best we can do for our pets.”

Lap of Love Makes News

Lap of Love continues to grow with more than 30 veterinarians in five different states; all with the common goal to empower every owner to care for their geriatric pets.

Drs. McVety and Gardner have spoken at the world's largest veterinary conferences as well as to local veterinarians and universities about veterinary hospice, palliative care, and euthanasia. Lap of Love has been featured in numerous newspapers, magazines, television news stations, radio shows, and veterinary related publications. You can find links to the many articles, press releases, interviews, and a newsclip video about Lap of Love at under the ‘In the News’ tab.

The informative website has important information regarding pet loss and pet euthanasia resources. You’ll find links to pet loss groups and counselors. There is a section dedicated to ‘Quality of Life’ that details what signs to look for when your pets’ health has deteriorated to the point that they are suffering. At the end of a pet’s life they are often in a lot of pain, may have no appetite, and may have problems with incontinence and mobility. Most times, pet owners innately know when their pet is no longer happy.

Lap of Love is Here to Help

Losing pet is never easy and it is even more traumatic for the pet and the owner when you have to transport them to the veterinary office – a place they most likely would rather avoid altogether. That is why many vets in the area recommend Lap of Love; they know that their clients are in good hands. “The vast majority of calls require me to be flexible and most vets can’t afford the time away from the clinic,” explains Dr. McVety.

You’ll know that you’ve done the very best you can for your pet when you call Lap of Love. When hospice care is needed, medication is provided to keep the pet comfortable. “To be able to see the pet in their own surroundings is huge in end-of-life veterinary care,” says Dr. McVety. “The whole point of what I do is about the comfort of the animal.”

There is no good way to lose a pet, but Lap of Love is the best alternative to a bad situation. Dr. McVety and her colleagues will ensure that your pet is heavily sedated and will feel as if they are just going to sleep, basking in the loving attention of their humans.

When a pet dies it affects everyone in the family, including other pets. Lap of Love offers loving compassion and tips on how to help your family and your pets during this grieving period. Lap of Love does everything possible to make this time special.

“I always provide a paw print, hair clippings and a pet loss booklet,” says Dr. McVety. Eternal Pawprints is the memorial booklet given out to her clients, and provides a place to record the name of your pet and the date of passing. Eternal Pawprints was carefully constructed to honor the life of special pets with poetry, special letters and tips on how to honor the memory of your lost friend. It also includes special letters from Dr. McVety dealing with the subject of canine grief and feline grief.

Lap of Love also provides aftercare services. The care of the pet’s remains is a very personal decision and is the pet owner’s alone to make. Owners may want to bury their own pet, choose cremation (private or communal), or opt to bury their pet in a pet cemetery.

No matter what the decision, Lap of Love providers are equipped to transport a pet and will take care of cremation arrangements. You can also purchase headstones and urns designed for pets from Lap of Love, as well as items for pet senior care.

It’s never easy to lose a pet, but it can be a much easier transition for your pet and your family with the help of Lap of Love. Lap of Love is available to clients seven days a week, including evenings.

For more information, please call (813) 407-9441 or visit for testimonials and news articles.

Article Gallery

  • Dr. Dani McVety understands how difficult it is to lose a beloved pet and makes every effort to treat pets and their owners with extra tender love and care during a very difficult time.
  • A paw print is taken for the pet’s family to keep.
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1 Response(s) to “Lap Of Love Veterinary Hospice - Love and Dignity, It's What All Pets Deserve”

  1. Cindy Kelly 12.06.2012 at 16:12
    We've had to have Dr McVety come to the house twice so far. Once in 2010 and recently in May of 2012. The service is amazing, it is hard enough to loose a little friend, but the thought of their last car ride being to a vet (and you are "in public" with your emotions).... I am grateful I discover Lap of Love. She will be present when my 13 year old female Maine Coon nears her end.

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