Our Story

About Crossroads Veterinary Hospice

Crossroads is a mobile veterinary hospice practice providing compassionate at-home care for canine and feline patients.

If you would like support while you focus on making your pet’s last days as comfortable and happy as possible, please contact us to make an appointment.

Dr. Ellen LaFramboise

Dr. Ellen LaFramboise graduated from Michigan State University, CVM in 2001. After years of helping families with difficult and often painful decisions in the ER, she decided to start Crossroads Veterinary Hospice in 2014.

Dr. Ellen’s personal path to hospice occurred over several years. Personal experiences with her kitty, Jasmine, who had a metastatic nasal tumor and her beloved Golden, Austin, who had a brain tumor, deeply influenced her. It was her experience with human hospice and the passing of her father-in-law in his own home, surrounded by his family that cemented her desire to provide the animal hospice option to her clients.

Dr. Ellen is a member of the International Association of Animal Hospice and Palliative Care and the International Veterinary Academy of Pain Management. In October 2017, she became one of the first veterinarians in the world to become certified in animal hospice and palliative care as a CHPV.

Her pet family currently consists of a loveable goofball Labradoodle named Rosebud, 2 Shih-Tzus named Barry and Wally, and a frisky 3-legged kitty named Luna.

Dr. Ellen

Dr. Kristin Kender

Dr. Kristin Kender attended Michigan State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine. During her senior year, she integrated her passion for traveling with her veterinary studies and completed an oncology externship at Murdoch University in Perth, Australia.

After graduating with honors from MSU CVM in 2004, Dr. Kender completed a small animal medicine and surgery internship at the Veterinary Referral and Emergency Center in Norwalk, Connecticut. Since then, Dr. Kender has practiced in different fields of veterinary medicine including emergency medicine, general practice, and education. She is most honored in helping families give their beloved animals a peaceful good-bye.

Dr. Kender’s pet family currently includes a quirky cat named Rocky, an energetic & mischievous kitty named Cheeto, and a scruffy little pup named Jasper.

Dr. Kristen Mitchell

After a childhood spending weekends at her grandparents’ dairy farm and after countless hours showing horses as a teen, Dr. Kristen Mitchell turned her passion for animals toward a career in veterinary medicine. She graduated from Michigan State University’s College of Veterinary in 2004, alongside Crossroads’ own Dr. Kender.

Following graduation, she practiced small animal general medicine in Colorado for over a decade before returning to Michigan in 2016 to be closer to family. She took a temporary break from veterinary medicine, and during that time, she had two very personal experiences with human hospice. It gave her a new perspective on grief, loss, and the gift of easing a loved one’s passing.

She was excited to join the Crossroads team in the spring of 2022. She never anticipated her career would lead in this direction, but it is some of the most rewarding work she has ever done.

Dr. Mitchell’s own pet family includes two of the best cats ever, Pikachu (the bossy one) and Tigger (the gentleman).

Kristen Mitchell

Kristin Formo, LVT, CHPT

Care Coordinator

Kristin joined the Crossroads team at the beginning of 2020. Kristin has a B.A. in Psychology from Luther College in Iowa.

After spending several years as a stay-at-home mom to two boys, Kristin returned to school, and graduated from Macomb College in 2009 with an A.A.S. in Veterinary Technology. She spent most of her career in general practice with the exception of one year in a high volume spay/neuter clinic.

We are very proud that Kristin was one of 62 graduates in the 2023 class of Certified Hospice and Palliative Care Veterinarians and Technicians who have successfully completed 100 hours of advanced learning in the field of animal hospice and palliative care from the International Association for Animal Hospice and Palliative Care.

Through the years, Kristin has been encouraged by the changes veterinary medicine has made to improve the euthanasia process for both the animals and the people. After her experience with her Beagle, Darwin’s illness and death, Kristin’s passion for improving end of life and euthanasia was ignited further. She loves combining her education and personal experience to help improve the comfort for dogs and cats during their later years, and to help facilitate the grieving process for those who are saying goodbye.

Carri Underwood

Carri, our practice manager, and mobile nurse joined the Crossroads team in 2021. She has worked in veterinary medicine since 1998 and has since learned every support staff role from reception to assistant, technician, and eventually manager.

The first ½ of her career was in general veterinary practice. In 2011 she moved to the ER where she honed her technician skills and found other passions within the industry. In 2015 Carri earned an Advanced Imaging Certificate from the Academy of Veterinary Imaging in Arlington Texas and became proficient and fell in love with veterinary abdominal ultrasound. Eventually her leadership and training skills also earned her a place in management.

Throughout her career she found great fulfillment and a niche in guiding families through end-of-life decisions for their pets. After discovering the “magical” experience of in-home euthanasia with her cat, Mr. Frodo, she explored working exclusively in end-of-life care.

Carri and her husband are empty nesters and enjoy spending their weekends camping with the friendliest and cutest Chihuahua/Papillion Mix ever named Ocho.