About Us

Meet Dr. Sara & Her Team

We are a mobile veterinary practice that specializes in end-of-life care for pets and pet loss services. All of us at Compassion 4 Paws are committed to helping you and your pet through these difficult times.

A Passionate and Dedicated Team

Out of the drive to start her own practice combined with her passion for end-of-life care for pets, Dr. Sara founded Compassion 4 Paws in late 2012. Since then, her devoted team of veterinarians and care coordinators continue to offer you and your beloved companion the support and care you need during this difficult time of navigating your pet’s end-of-life journey.

Dr. Sara’s team of dedicated veterinarians have specialized training in acupuncture and hospice care and are continually advancing their knowledge, allowing them to provide the highest quality care for your pet.

We at Compassion 4 Paws consider it an honor and privilege to support you through this journey.

Does this sound like a team you would like to be part of? Looking for a new opportunity? Go here to learn more about joining our team.

In-Home End of Life Care for Pets | Pet Loss Services | Pet Acupuncture | Pet Laser Therapy | Seattle Area

Dr. Sara Render Hopkins

DVM, CVA, CHPV

(Pronouns she/her)

I find nothing more fulfilling than offering pets the care and dignity they deserve in an environment where they’re completely comfortable. Over the years, we have built our team of amazing and compassionate veterinarians and care coordinators to be able to better serve our wonderful community.

About Dr. Sara Render Hopkins, DVM, CVA, CHPV

I was raised in Toronto, Canada and moved with my family to the United States in 1991. I’m happy to call Washington State my home, where I’ve lived since 1996.

For years I knew that I wanted to work with animals. I completed my veterinary education at Washington State University in 2000, and obtained my Certification in Veterinary Acupuncture through the International Veterinary Acupuncture Society (IVAS) in 2013. I practiced at an Eastside small animal clinic for 11 years. I loved my work there, particularly my patients and their families. In the later years, I developed an interest in pain management and a passion for giving pets the dignified and loving end-of-life journey they deserved. In 2013, I felt the need to combine my acupuncture training with my love for compassionate care of animals in a home-based setting, and founded Compassion 4 Paws.

I’m so glad I did. I find nothing more fulfilling than offering pets the care and dignity they deserve in an environment where they’re completely comfortable. Over the years, we have built our team of amazing and compassionate veterinarians and care coordinators to be able to better serve our wonderful community.

In the fall of 2017, I became one of the first veterinarians in the world to achieve certification in Animal Hospice and Palliative Care through the IAAHPC (International Association of Animal Hospice and Palliative Care). The 16 month course furthered my knowledge to better support pets and their families during their end-of-life journey. In 2020 I was honored to join the IAAHPC Board of Directors and look forward to increasing awareness and promoting education of animal hospice, palliative and end-of-life care.

I live in Edmonds with my husband Dennis, our young son, our dogs Tilley and Roy, and our cats Sushi and Freddie Purr-cury. During my free time I enjoy traveling, camping, reading, crafts and spending time with friends.

In-Home End of Life Care for Pets | Pet Loss Services | Pet Acupuncture | Pet Laser Therapy | Seattle Area

Dr. Allison Edwards

DVM, CHPV
(Pronouns she/her)
I am so grateful to have made this move to Compassion 4 Paws and truly feel as though I have found my calling. I find it so satisfying to be able to guide and assist people and their beloved pets during this difficult time.

About Dr. Allison Edwards, DVM

I was raised in the Seattle area and am proud to be a 3rd generation Seattleite. I am happy to be back home after many years of being away at school. I completed my veterinary education at Washington State University in 2012 and then spent a year undertaking a small animal rotating internship at Alameda East Veterinary Hospital in Denver, CO (the clinic of Animal Planet’s ‘Emergency Vets’ television fame). Since graduation, I have been practicing emergency medicine. I believe this was the best preparation for my transition to hospice and end of life care, since the two often go hand in hand. I am so grateful to have made this move to Compassion 4 Paws and truly feel as though I have found my calling. I find it so satisfying to be able to guide and assist people and their beloved pets during this difficult time.

I live in Shoreline with my husband and our baby girl. We have two adorable pups, Henry and Lila, along with a rescue goldfish, Goldie, and axolotl, Toothless. During my free time I enjoy spending time with my family, walking around Greenlake and sailing. I received my certification in Animal Hospice and Palliative Care (CHPV) through the International Association for Animal Hospice and Palliative Care (IAAHPC) in August of 2020 and am excited to incorporate my training into our practice.

Dr. Tessa King | In-Home End of Life Care for Pets | Pet Loss Services | Pet Acupuncture | Pet Laser Therapy | Seattle Area

Dr. Tessa King

DVM
(Pronouns she/her)
I realized what an incredible gift it is to be able to help both people and animals through the end-of-life transition in the comfort of their own homes. I feel honored and blessed to be part of the Compassion 4 Paws team and to be able to provide such a needed service to people and their beloved pets.

About Dr. Tessa King, DVM

I was born and raised in Seattle and have lived here in Washington my entire life. My dad is also a veterinarian and I spent much time in my youth observing and working in his clinic. I think the first time I watched him do surgery, I was about 4 years old! I loved biology and of course animals and so decided to follow in his footsteps. I went to Washington State University for both undergraduate and veterinary school, graduating from vet school in 2002. After graduation, I headed back to western Washington, finally leaving Pullman behind, though I loved my time there and am definitely a Coug!

I have worked in both private general practice as well as shelter medicine. Prior to joining Compassion 4 Paws, I worked in a practice that provided house calls both for general medical concerns as well as end-of-life care. It was during this time I realized what an incredible gift it is to be able to help both people and animals through the end-of-life transition in the comfort of their own homes. I feel honored and blessed to be part of the Compassion 4 Paws team and to be able to provide such a needed service to people and their beloved pets.

I live in Bothell with my husband, two daughters and three fur children – two Husky mixes, Layla & Lucy, and a tabby cat named Charles Hamm. I love being in the garden, camping, and out in nature when the sun is shining. When it’s raining, I prefer to be inside baking or snuggling and reading with my kids.

In-Home End of Life Care for Pets | Pet Loss Services | Pet Acupuncture | Pet Laser Therapy | Seattle Area

Dr. Kelli Smith

DVM
(Pronouns she/her)
I joined Compassion 4 Paws to provide guidance to families facing their pets golden years, to enhance a pets comfort, and to bring what peace and strength I may to ease the final parting. 

About Dr. Kelli Smith, DVM

Growing up in Snohomish, WA, I realized my passion for helping animals at an early age while working at a local wildlife rehabilitation center.

I pursued my undergraduate work at the University of Oregon and received my Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine from Kansas State University in 2009. Following veterinary school, I completed a small animal internship at Iowa State College of Veterinary Medicine, primarily working in emergency medicine.

After returning to the Pacific Northwest, I enjoyed nearly 10 years in general practice where I began to realize my passion for treating senior pets, a time during which I feel they need the most care. I joined Compassion 4 Paws to provide guidance to families facing their pets golden years, to enhance a pets comfort, and to bring what peace and strength I may to ease the final parting.

I currently reside in Seattle with my husband, my two boys, and my two kitties, Trinity and Zoey. When not working, I enjoy baking, traveling, reading, and ballroom dancing.

In-Home End of Life Care for Pets | Pet Loss Services | Pet Acupuncture | Pet Laser Therapy | Seattle Area

Dr. Nicole Schwinkendorf

DVM, CVA
(Pronouns she/her)
I feel called to help pet parents navigate the difficult decisions and emotions inherent with end of life issues. When the loving decision to let a pet pass has been made, I am deeply honored to be present and to help that companion transition in the most peaceful way possible.

About Dr. Nicole Schwinkendorf, DVM, CVA

Born and raised in Edmonds, I am happy to be back in the Pacific Northwest, doing the work I love. I was late to the veterinary profession, but have always had an empathetic heart toward all creatures and the people who love them. Until recently, my compassion for animals was expressed through volunteer work and a vegan lifestyle that I continue to practice. It wasn’t until after twenty years in the software industry that I decided to pursue veterinary medicine at Washington State University. I knew from the beginning that I wanted to focus on holistic and end of life care. Dr. Sara has been a key influence along this journey, and I am thrilled to be working with her team.

As a lifelong runner who has experienced the benefits of whole food nutrition and consistent exercise, I advocate the same for my patients. I am certified in acupuncture through the Chi Institute and am happy to offer this practice, as well as Chinese herbal medicine and nutraceutical supplementation, for your pets. I particularly enjoy helping geriatric patients with mobility and chronic pain. My interest in end of life care was inspired by witnessing human hospice in a very personal way. I feel called to help pet parents navigate the difficult decisions and emotions inherent with end of life issues. When the loving decision to let a pet pass has been made, I am deeply honored to be present and to help that companion transition in the most peaceful way possible.

In-Home End of Life Care for Pets | Pet Loss Services | Pet Acupuncture | Pet Laser Therapy | Seattle Area

Dr. Ryan Black

DVM
(Pronouns he/him)
After I obtained my medical degree, I started working in a general practice setting. In the beginning, performing euthanasias was difficult for me because I strongly felt what the families that I was helping were feeling: grief, sadness, and loss. As time has gone by, my views of end-of-life have shifted slightly. I still feel the grief that is occurring during these times, but I have also begun to see that end-of-life care is a privilege to be able to participate in. It is a culmination and celebration of a well-loved life.

About Dr. Ryan Black, DVM

Since becoming a veterinarian in 2015, end-of-life care has been a very important aspect of how I practice medicine. Having grown up with animals in the house, watching them age, and eventually pass away, I am no stranger to the feelings that grief can cause. After I obtained my medical degree, I started working in a general practice setting. In the beginning, performing euthanasias was difficult for me because I strongly felt what the families that I was helping were feeling: grief, sadness, and loss. As time has gone by, my views of end-of-life have shifted slightly. I still feel the grief that is occurring during these times, but I have also begun to see that end-of-life care is a privilege to be able to participate in. It is a culmination and celebration of a well-loved life. To see people willing to put themselves in pain to alleviate the pain their pets are experiencing is truly beautiful. I’m excited to be working for Compassion 4 Paws to be able to provide this service to families outside of a clinical setting in the comfort of people’s homes.

I received my Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree from Washington State University in 2015.  After graduation, I got a job in general practice at a small-animal clinic in Everett where I worked for several years. Following this period, I also worked in the emergency field including a short stint working at the referral hospital Animal Medical Center of Seattle where I managed multiple complex medical cases and worked closely with a variety of specialists to help pets and families in need. The move to focus exclusively on end-of-life care was rooted in the appreciation I received from families who were forced to make these hard decisions. At multiple junctures, families expressed relief to be given the permission to let go rather than continue to treat when treatments were failing. When I realized I was good at having these conversations and saw how much pet owners appreciated the points I brought up, I realized a calling to hospice/end-of-life care which led me to Compassion 4 Paws.

Before becoming a veterinarian, I worked as a biological scientist for the Department of Homeland Security, during which I relocated from Illinois to Washington in 2006. My husband and I both call the Northwest home though neither of us grew up in the area. Like many locals, we seize opportunities to camp, hike and ski in the beautiful landscapes around us.  We share our home with two shelter pit-mixes, two stray cats, a surrendered ball python and a tarantula named Terry.  Most of the pack travels together with some frequency; the alpha dog, Clementine, has road-tripped to 15 states west of the Great Lakes.  Our senior cat, Palouse, has even taken to the road with the pack, adventuring to places like the Redwoods and Death Valley.  At home, I enjoy tending to an extensive indoor garden of tropical and desert plants, making cold-process soap, and cooking.

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Danielle Hagen

DVM, DACVIM
(Pronouns she/her)
Compassionate end-of-life care has always been a deeply valued part of my practice. While I enjoy practicing Internal Medicine, I wanted to connect with my patients and families in a more personal way that was free from the hectic pace of the hospital. It is an honor to be invited into the homes of my clients and bear witness to the deep bond they have with their pets. My goal is to ease the end-of-life transition and to provide comfort, closure, and a sense of peace.

About Danielle Hagen, DVM, DACVIM

I grew up in Minneapolis, but am very glad to call Seattle my current home. After graduating from veterinary school at the University of Minnesota in 2013, I got my first taste of the Pacific Northwest during my rotating internship in Portland. After completing a 3-year residency at the University of Wisconsin-Madison to become board-certified in Internal Medicine, I practiced as an internist in the Bay Area for several years but missed the PNW, and moved to Seattle in 2020. I don’t miss the freezing MN winters one bit, and really love being surrounded by the green space, water, and mountains of Western Washington.

I’ve always been particularly drawn to senior pets and to pets with complex health needs. Helping clients navigate difficult decision-making for their furry family members is challenging but deeply rewarding work. I am passionate about patient-centered care, and enjoy working with clients to optimize quality of life for both their pets and their families.

Compassionate end-of-life care has always been a deeply valued part of my practice. While I enjoy practicing Internal Medicine, I wanted to connect with my patients and families in a more personal way that was free from the hectic pace of the hospital. Joining the Compassion 4 Paws team has been a gift. It is an honor to be invited into the homes of my clients and bear witness to the deep bond they have with their pets. My goal is to ease the end-of-life transition and to provide comfort, closure, and a sense of peace.

My partner and I share our home with three tabby cats: Lola, our sweet (and cranky) old lady, as well as “the twins” Leo and Petie, who still think they are silly kittens at 4 years of age. We will always be grateful to Bubba, our goofy Persian boy, as his passing allowed us to connect with the amazing members of the Compassion 4 Paws team. In my spare time, I enjoy reading, gardening, hiking, travel, and trying new restaurants.

Shawnee Neubauer

Practice Manager and Care Coordinator
(Pronouns she/her)
Whether I was working in veterinary medicine directly, or just volunteering my time and services to various rescue organizations – animal health and wellness has always been my greatest passion. I am so honored to assist you and your family through your end of life journey with your beloved pet.

About Shawnee Neubauer, Practice Manager and Care Coordinator

I began my career in veterinary medicine when I was just 18 years old. Over the next several years, my dedication and experience helped me to evolve from being a kennel assistant to a veterinary technician, and eventually to a practice manager for a group of small animal hospitals located just outside of Phoenix, Arizona, where I stayed for many years. As life took my family and I to several states around the western US, I continued my commitment to helping pets and their families. Whether I was working in veterinary medicine directly, or just volunteering my time and services to various rescue organizations – animal health and wellness has always been my greatest passion.

I happened upon my position with Compassion 4 Paws when I had to call Dr. Sara out to our home to help us say goodbye to our heart dog, Bud. It was such an emotional time and we were utterly devastated. But, to see first-hand the gift that in-home euthanasia provided to our sweet boy (and us) that night, I knew it was something I had to be a part of. I am so honored to assist you and your family through your end of life journey with your beloved pet.

My husband and I now reside in Northern Colorado where we enjoy the great outdoors with our two amazing rescue pups: our border collie Jack, and our Maremma Sheepdog, Lukas. I also enjoy volunteering with the Colorado Master Gardeners Program and Mountain Pet Rescue whenever I can.

In-Home End of Life Care for Pets | Pet Loss Services | Pet Acupuncture | Pet Laser Therapy | Seattle Area

Tasha Denison

Care Coordinator
(Pronouns she/her)
I am incredibly thankful to have found my calling with Compassion 4 Paws. I strive to help families through their most difficult times and hope to make their transition as smooth as it can possibly be.

About Tasha Denison, Care Coordinator

I knew from a young age that I wanted to work with animals. At 18 my passion became a reality when I began working at a veterinary practice. Over the years, I had opportunity to travel to different veterinary hospitals to better my team building skills, client education and improve staff morale when needed.

I am incredibly thankful to have found my calling with Compassion 4 Paws. I strive to help families through their most difficult times and hope to make their transition as smooth as it can possibly be. It is a true blessing to work with such an amazing team who are equally as passionate about the relationship between people and their beloved pets.

In my spare time, I enjoy lounging in the sun, going out with friends and spending quality time with my pup Gotti, and my son. You can find us working on our toys in the shop or supporting our Seahawks during football season!

In-Home End of Life Care for Pets | Pet Loss Services | Pet Acupuncture | Pet Laser Therapy | Seattle Area

Eliza Berry

Care Coordinator
(Pronouns she/her)
I truly value the bond we have with our pets, and having experienced saying goodbye to my beloved 15-year-old dog Willie in my home, I am grateful to be a part of the Compassion 4 Paws team helping others through this same experience.

About Eliza Berry, Care Coordinator

I have been dedicated to the care of pets and their human companions in Washington State for over 20 years. At the age of 17, I started working in emergency clinics and general practices as a veterinary assistant and lead client service coordinator. After earning my degree in Biology from UW in 2015, I transitioned to human health care where I worked for 2.5 years as a patient service representative providing between visit care.

I am happy to once again be a part of the field I am passionate about and continue my work with animals. I truly value the bond we have with our pets, and having experienced saying goodbye to my beloved 15-year-old dog Willie in my home, I am grateful to be a part of the Compassion 4 Paws team helping others through this same experience.

In my spare time I enjoy spending time with my kitties Xena and Wombat, jogging, traveling with my husband and being a devout Seattle Sounders soccer and Husky football fan!

In-Home End of Life Care for Pets | Pet Loss Services | Pet Acupuncture | Pet Laser Therapy | Seattle Area

Camille Jackson

Hospice Support and Care Coordinator, LVT
(Pronouns she/her)
I have worked in small animal general practice hospitals, a veterinary dental clinic and a house call practice. After 20 years in the field I am ready to take on the roll of Care Coordinator and help pet parents navigate through difficult times.

About Camille Jackson, LVT

I was born and raised in the Seattle area. I began working in the veterinary field after high school, and became a Licensed Veterinary Technician in 2011. I have worked in small animal general practice hospitals, a veterinary dental clinic, and a house call practice. After 20 years in the field, I am ready to take on the role of Care Coordinator and help pet parents navigate through difficult times.

In my free time I like to spend time with my husband and two small rescue dogs Nelly and Vinnie in the beautiful Sky Valley.

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Kelly Gross

Care Coordinator
(Pronouns she/her)
I am grateful my journey has now taken me to Compassion 4 Paws where I can be a part of an empathetic team who appreciates the importance of the human/animal bond and seek to honor our furry companion’s dignity to the end.

About Kelly Gross, Care Coordinator

I have always loved animals, particularly cats, and have had the pleasure of sharing my home with quite a few over the years. After spending nearly 20 years as a zoo keeper I decided to join a local veterinary clinic to focus on companion animals and learn more about vet medicine. I particularly enjoyed learning about fear free handling and especially liked the older, cranky animals who came to the clinic as I tried to make their visits as comfortable as possible.

I am grateful my journey has now taken me to Compassion 4 Paws where I can be a part of an empathetic team who appreciates the importance of the human/animal bond and seek to honor our furry companion’s dignity to the end.

In my spare time I enjoy gardening and nature, spending time with my husband and our dogs (we love Edmonds dog park at low tide) and spoiling my many cats including Belle, a polydactyl, dilute calico with one eye and Gloria Swanson, a sleek house panther who has feline asthma.

In-Home End of Life Care for Pets | Pet Loss Services | Pet Acupuncture | Pet Laser Therapy | Seattle Area

Dennis Hopkins

Logistics
(Pronouns he/him)
I assist with the day-to-day operations at Compassion 4 Paws making sure the team is equipped to help people and the pets they love.

About Dennis Hopkins, Logistics

I’m grateful to say I was able to create a thriving remodeling business from the ground up, one that focused on integrity, efficiency and environmental stewardship – all of which are very important to me.

When Sara began to consider leaving general veterinary practice to start Compassion 4 Paws, I realized the potential for helping people and their beloved pets in this type of in-home care. At that time I decided to retire my remodeling business and began focusing more on Compassion 4 Paws. As I watched the practice grow, I began to recognize some of the business insufficiencies that were time consuming and cumbersome for the doctors as well as the care coordinators. I applied my project management skills and rallied a team of consultants and software developers to create a software application for mobile hospice veterinarians to make the business side of their practice more efficient . And that was the start of REX Veterinary Software. I also assist with the day-to-day operations at Compassion 4 Paws making sure the team is equipped to help the people and the pets they love.

In-Home End of Life Care for Pets | Pet Loss Services | Pet Acupuncture | Pet Laser Therapy | Seattle Area

Mike Grabham

Business Development
(Pronouns he/him)
About 6 months after meeting Sara and Dennis, I had to have Compassion 4 Paws help me say goodbye to my own pet. It was then that I realized that in-home euthanasia is a very valuable service for pet owners that they may not know exists. I joined the Compassion 4 Paws team to help build the foundation for future growth, and it has been a fun journey thus far.

About Mike Grabham, Business Development

I assist Compassion 4 Paws with processes and procedures that allow our team to be more effective, have some fun, and get things done all at the same time-yes you can do them all!

By nature, I am a curious leader who, being a 6x founder, has experienced success, failure, and everything in-between. I spend my time coaching, consulting, and helping founders of businesses that are at the high-growth stage. My goal is to help them avoid the mistakes that I have learned from in my personal experience, that slow or stall growth. About 6 months after meeting Sara and Dennis, I had to have Compassion 4 Paws help me say goodbye to my own pet. It was then that I realized that in-home euthanasia is a very valuable service for pet owners that they may not know exists. I joined the Compassion 4 Paws team to help build the foundation for future growth, and it has been a fun journey thus far.

I enjoy spending my free time wine tasting with my wife accompanied by our dog Gage, while our cat Vegas stays at home.

Our Partner

In-Home End of Life Care for Pets | Pet Loss Services | Pet Acupuncture | Pet Laser Therapy | Seattle Area

West Coast Pet Memorial Services was created in order to offer pet parents the highest quality aftercare experience, and to providing this process with compassion and respect.

West Coast Pet Memorial Services understands your experience of loss, and will walk alongside you during your grief to ensure that you and your precious family member will be treated with the love and respect you deserve.

We love our pet community and show our support by donating a portion of revenue from each appointment to one of our favorite nonprofits