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Meet Lisa Darcy of Live Love Animal Rescue in Long Beach

Today we’d like to introduce you to Lisa Darcy.

Thanks for sharing your story with us Lisa. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
I’ve been an animal lover and aspiring animal trainer all my life. My parents lovingly tease me for training my childhood German shepherd mix using M&Ms when I was about four years old (oops – do not try this at home!). Once I moved out and finally adopted a dog of my own, my Great Dane Ned, I began to learn about the world of animal rescue. After adopting two more Great Danes, Drogo and Nymeria, I was quickly reminded of the importance of training and began to work with several Long Beach-area trainers. This was how I met my best friend and rescue partner Emily Peters, the founder of Live Love Pet Care and Animal Rescue. She was a one-woman powerhouse at the time (2014), and I felt an inexplicable need to get involved, both for her sake and for the sake of the animals she was rescuing. Shortly after that, I began fostering Zeppelin, a lovingly nutty German Shepherd that Emily was having a hard time placing due to his severe behavior issues. Those same issues led me even deeper into the world of training – I tried every method, tool, and idea I could get my hands on in an effort to rehabilitate Zeppelin. At the same time, I began to support Emily in registering Live Love Animal Rescue as a 501c3 nonprofit, creating policies and procedures around fostering and adoption and helping to place dogs, mostly from Long Beach Animal Care Services, into foster homes for eventual adoption.

As my experience grew, I joined Live Love’s newly formed Board of Directors, developed and launched a formal adoption program, and continued to foster dogs while working on my own dog-training skills. As Live Love has grown, I am proud to have a small team of volunteers helping with the adoption program. This has given me room to volunteer with Apex Protection Project, a wolf and wolf-dog rescue and sanctuary, further developing my skills as a caretaker and handler, which in turn contributed to my dog-training confidence. More recently, I began attending formal training workshops and shadowing under dog trainers such as Cheri Lucas and Brian Agnew. While I’m technically an elementary school teacher by “trade,” I now consider myself a dog trainer as well. Emily and I are in the early stages of launching a dog training “branch” of Live Love to help support our fosters, adopters, and the community as a whole in building a positive, respectful, and trusting relationship with their dogs. I’m excited to begin this new phase of my journey with animals!

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
I am grateful for the support of my family, friends, and the Live Love team all along the way. More than anything, I’ve struggled with imposter syndrome and letting my lack of self-confidence get in my own way. I went to school to become a teacher – I achieved this and have just completed my 9th year of teaching – but I never really felt like my experience in the animal world lent me any credibility despite my years of involvement. In the last couple of years in particular, I have worked to build my own self-confidence while continually learning from those around me.

Please tell us about Live Love Animal Rescue.
Live Love Animal Rescue is a 501c3 dog rescue based in Long Beach. We work closely with Long Beach Animal Care Services, the local shelter, to rescue and rehabilitate the “underdogs” of the community – we frequently take on dogs with severe medical and behavioral needs that many other organizations are either unable or unwilling to work with. With the support of the community, we have placed close to 1000 dogs since we officially launched as a nonprofit in 2016. I’m proud of Live Love not only for our commitment to the dogs that others may dismiss, but also for the level of support and professionalism we provide to our fosters, adopters, and the community. We provide fosters and adopters with an extensive training manual, easy access to our support team, and maintain open lines of communication to address any and all needs.

Like many other groups, we have had our work cut out for us in order to stay afloat during the COVID-19 pandemic, but I’m proud of the steps we’ve taken to address this. We’ve launched virtual meet and greets, virtual home checks, and virtual adoption events in the last several months, and provide ongoing virtual medical and behavioral (training) support for our fosters and adopters. We also launched an emergency foster program in conjunction with Long Beach Animal Care Services, which is closed to the public except by appointment, to move many of their dogs into foster homes and allow for the dogs to be networked more easily by our team of fosters and volunteers. This program has successfully fostered 86 dogs since March 2020!

Is there a characteristic or quality that you feel is essential to success?
Adaptability and determination have been key for me! My end goal has always remained the same – contributing to animal welfare – but my methods of achieving this have changed over time. My willingness to accept feedback (and act on it!), as well as my commitment to the highest good of the animals, has helped guide me in the development of Live Love policies, procedures, and programs, as well as in my personal development as a trainer and my confidence in sharing this knowledge with the community.


  • Adoption Fee: $300 for adult dogs (1-7 years old)
  • Adoption Fee: $400 for puppies (under 1 year old)
  • Adoption Fee: $200 for senior dogs (8+ years old)
  • Training Rates: $250 for initial consult and training session
  • Training Rates: $150 per hour-long training session
  • Training Rates: $100 per virtual hour-long training session

Contact Info:

Image Credit:

Hannah Overeem Photography, L’Arte LG Photography

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