New Veterinary Franchise Expanding Nationwide

Lap of Love allows veterinarians to start their own branch of in-home hospice and euthanasia practice in weeks with minimal investment.

Oct 16, 2012, 13:08 ET from Lap of Love

TAMPA, Fla., Oct. 16, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Lap of Love Veterinary Hospice™ has unveiled their franchise model, joining ranks with only a handful of businesses to offer such an opportunity for veterinarians. With 34 doctors operating in 13 states, Lap of Love has begun to prove itself as a sustainable organization with a business model that provides a much needed service that is attractive to veterinarians who are looking for flexibility in their work schedule. The Lap of Love founders, Drs. Dani McVety and Mary Gardner, are becoming the industry leaders in developing in-home end of life pet medical care programs. 

With volunteer background in human hospice, Dr. Dani McVety founded Lap of Love in 2009 to bridge the gap between terminal illness and euthanasia while giving her the flexibility to spend time with her family. Already an accomplished entrepreneur, McVety knew Lap of Love had the ability to reach beyond Tampa, FL. By 2010 she partnered with her longtime friend and veterinary school classmate, Dr. Mary Gardner. Veterinary medicine is Gardner's second career path, her first 10 years were spent in software management, design and marketing. With their combined foresight and technical skills, they designed Sunshine®, the first ever web-based practice management software built strictly for veterinary hospice and euthanasia practices. 

The development of Sunshine® was the first step in branching Lap of Love to other areas. "Sunshine allows its users to track clients, pets, drug usage, and medical notes all from one web-based portal.  This means it's available anywhere; on your smartphone, iPad, or laptop," says Gardner. "This allows veterinarians to focus on client-patient care instead of paperwork."  Their website is powered by Sunshine® and features a quick zip-code search for clients to easily locate a veterinarian in their area and personalized client registration forms, a tremendous marketing value to any veterinarian that joins their team. 

Gardner and McVety knew there was a need for this type of service, based both on client demand and doctors' desire for more rewarding work. "Veterinarians are increasingly looking for more fulfilling, engaging and flexible work that allows them family time without giving up much income," says McVety. More and more graduates are women, many wanting to start a family within a few years, but finding it hard to fit children into a 50+ hour weekly work schedule. "Relief work is sometimes an option, but what if there was something better?  I truly enjoy this type of practice," Dr. McVety says, "I have time to spend with my kids with scheduling appointments around family time, while making a full time income; it's the best of both worlds."

Facing a mountain of student debt and very little business experience, most veterinarians are not in the position to build a business from scratch. Starting a venture is time consuming, expensive, and risky, particularly when the business model is as young and ill-defined as veterinary hospice. This is exactly why Lap of Love has introduced their unique franchise model. 

With absolutely no cash investment paid to Lap of Love, veterinarians can be up and running in just a few short weeks. Dr. Laura Bacon of Knoxville, TN joined Lap of Love in September 2011 and has already helped over 100 families. "Having owned my own practice before, I knew about all the time and expense involved in starting a business and not just the brick and mortar part of it – advertising, marketing, website support, systems and controls, etc. When I joined Lap of Love, I was instantly a part of a family of wonderful vets that all gave me advice. They took care of all the business details, plans and development  so I was up and running a professional practice in just 3 weeks," Dr. Bacon says.

"We train our doctors in all facets of the business and support them in their new venture, " Dr. Gardner says, "In addition to providing all the print material they need, we also facilitate their Internet marketing, local advertising and editorial campaigns, and provide them strong vehicles for social media communications. Most veterinarians don't want to spend time fine tuning search engine optimization rules for their website or analyzing web traffic. We take that off their plate so they can focus on their clients. Our franchise model also gives them flexibility in terms of location.  If they need to move, they can bring their Lap of Love franchise business with them to their new city."

For more information on how to join the Lap of Love, visit or email Dr. McVety at

SOURCE Lap of Love