Lovebugs Rescue is made up of a team of animal loving people who volunteer their time around other life commitments – work, family, and their own pets.  Our team members are the core of Lovebugs Rescue and help us serve our mission to save dogs in need.  If you’d like to become a Foster Home, please complete our Foster application.


Heather Peterson

Founder & Puppy Foster

I founded Lovebugs Rescue back in October 2010, after volunteering with rescue dogs for several years.

I had adopted a small Chihuahua named Kaya who was a special needs case; through that my love for rescue began. I wanted to make a difference. Kaya passed away a year after I adopted her, but she is the initial inspiration behind Lovebugs Rescue. Kaya, like many other dogs, was discarded in the shelter system. Many are misunderstood and become fearful in a new situation. Without rescue organizations, such as Lovebugs Rescue, these dogs would never be looked at and would likely end up being euthanized. By bringing a dog into a home environment, they are able to decompress and begin to feel safe.  This is why foster homes are so crucial to saving these dogs from uncertain death. I’m proud of what Lovebugs Rescue has become since our inception. We have a loyal group of animal loving volunteers who dedicate their time to help our dogs.


Stacey Olson

Rescue Director & Adult Foster

I have been the Rescue Director for Lovebugs since 2010. Some of the things that make Lovebugs so successful and awesome to work with are the die-hard people who volunteer with us, our attention

to marketing the dogs in our rescue, and being very well organized in running our day to day operations.
As the Rescue Director, some of my rolls include, organizing our events, working with the local shelters, coordinating with the foster parents and being a foster mom.  Rescue is by far the most rewarding part of my life. It is a part of who I am and defines a big part of how I see myself impacting the world I live in and trying to leave it a little better than I found it.


Mayra Victoria

Adult Foster

My name is Mayra and I’ve been a life long animal advocate.  For the last 15 years the dogs have taken over my life. I run a successful pet care business

called PoochSitters with my sister who lives on the Bay Area.
I’ve volunteered with several dog rescue groups over the last 15 years but at this point I exclusively foster for Love Bugs Rescue. I first met Heather – founder of Love Bugs – about 7 years ago when we both volunteered for another dog rescue organization. Heather was clear on her vision on how she wanted to run and represent her rescue and I wholeheartedly agreed.  It’s been a fun and rewarding experience to support Lovebugs since Heather founded it. I wear many hats with the rescue to include fostering dogs as well as coordinating with other team members to make sure they have everything they need. I also assist with some back-end technology tools to help the rescue run more efficiently. I look forward to many more years and pups along the way.


Victoria Coonradt

PARVO Foster

I have been an animal lover all my life and had reached a point where I felt the need to give back in memory of all the animals who touched and enriched my life so much.

I heard about Lovebugs Rescue through another volunteer foster for Lovebugs. I started volunteering in November of 2014 and initially helped with administrative duties and at adoption events. I did that for a while until I got the call one day asking if I could foster a dog, and that is how fostering began for me. Things changed again for me when on Easter Sunday 2015, I received a call from the director of Lovebugs asking me if I would consider fostering 3 PARVO puppies who were in the shelter and at risk of euthanasia. Being unfamiliar with PARVO, but knowing that it was a deadly virus, I hesitated momentarily and then said yes. That is how I have become the PARVO foster home for Lovebugs. To date (June 2017) I have fostered 40 dogs for Lovebugs and most of them have been PARVO survivors. It is rewarding beyond words to be involved with saving these puppies who are literally on death’s doorstep. To watch them go from sick and discarded little beings to healthy and happy puppies and then on to loving homes is heartwarming to say the least.

Before volunteering with Lovebugs I predominantly had rescue dogs. I currently have three dogs and two of them were Lovebugs “”foster failures”” or “”foster successes””, however you choose to look at it. Two out of forty is not bad.

Volunteering with Lovebugs is very fulfilling and meaningful. Not only does it provide these precious dogs with a second chance, but it also brings such joy and happiness to those who adopt from Lovebugs. I’m proud to be a part of the Lovebugs team and associated with such dedicated individuals.”


Sabine Tomblin

Adult Foster

My Family and I enjoy volunteering and fostering small dogs for Lovebugs Rescue. Fostering has been one of the most rewarding experiences for us (next to adopting, of course). As a foster family, we hope to make a real impact on a dog in need while

providing a temporary home.


Jennifer Ward

Adult Foster

I had been considering becoming a foster mom for quite some time, I mean why not? I love dogs so much, so many dogs are in need of rescue, I had received permission from my landlord, I am a professional pet sitter with flexibility and, most

importantly, I have a desire to do something REWARDING! Finally in January 2017 I was ready.
I began with research and sent out four applications. Lovebugs called and here we go! Let the saving a life one at a time begin!
I couldn’t have been more pleased with the opportunity to work with Lovebugs Rescue. My job is to provide the pup with a patient, loving, secure, comforting home, communicating with prospective adopters, and transport to/from vet and events. Lovebugs covers everything else; leashes, harnesses, vet bills, monthly flea prevention, dental (as needed) and does all the networking.

For me, the most challenging as a foster is the day you let them go! I fall head over heals for each one from the very beginning. The first night is, let me show you your area (your comfort and secure zone) decompress from your travels. Night two, let me hold you, comfort you, look into your eyes and wonder about your past, promise you are safe now, moving forward will be a life of love, days full of fun and adventures. You are a Lovebug now and no matter your health you will be cared for.

If you are able, be a foster parent, give a pup a second chance and in return reap all the emotional rewards!”


Danielle Garcia

Hospice Foster

I first heard about Lovebugs Rescue from a friend who trains dogs in Orange County. My husband and I had decided to adopt a dog after we moved to a dog-friendly apartment.

I was keeping an eye on the Lovebugs Facebook photos of adoptable dogs when I saw Tobi, a 13-year-old shih-tzu in failing health who was in need of a forever foster. I grew up with shih-tzus and love the breed, and Tobi deserved a peaceful home to live out the rest of his days. So a LBR foster brought him to meet us and he moved in the next week! Tobi came to us with multiple health problems and his prognosis was not good, but he has made himself right at home here and leads a very spoiled life. As “”forever fosters,”” we provide the loving home and Lovebugs Rescue generously provides the financial support required to care for a senior dog. Tobi has brought so much light into our lives, and I would like to think that we have done the same for him! When Tobi is no longer with us, we will definitely be looking to Lovebugs for another dog to welcome to our home, either as a foster or adoptive family.


Veronica Mitchell

Senior/Hospice Foster

I started fostering for Lovebugs Rescue in 2019. I have a soft spot for the oldies but goodies. I enjoy fostering and caring for medical seniors and hospice dogs because those are the ones that need us the most.

When I visit the shelter, I look for the most broken dogs who have given up because they know their human gave up on them. I am overjoyed when I see a once broken soul blossom into the most loved and happy dog. My heart melts that moment I get my first kiss or tail wag!  It’s humbling to be a part of their journey wherever that may lead. I have loved every single one of them with all of my heart. I hope that when it’s my time, I will be reunited at the rainbow bridge with some of my special Lovebugs fosters.


Annie Liang

Adult Foster

I first heard about Lovebugs Rescue when a friend showed me a picture of a Lovebug way back in 2011. I instantly fell in love with all the adoptable dogs.

Lovebugs have the best photo shoots! I’ve wanted to foster for a long time, but never had the space to do it. I’ve followed Lovebugs for years; it was only natural that, when I was finally able, I’d volunteer for them. I have now fostered 6 Lovebugs and will continue to foster more. Working with Lovebugs is so rewarding! I love each foster and they each have such unique personalities. It’s hard not to get attached to all of them, but I’m always excited when they do find their perfect forever homes. It’s also been fun to take them to adoption events or meet their potential families. Lovebugs events are always very well organized. I swore up and down I wouldn’t foster fail which is what we call it when a foster dog becomes a permanent member of the family. While each foster was a struggle to let go, very recently, Murphy (Yorkie on the right) stole my heart. He now joins the rest of my furmily. You can follow them on Instagram @MrBrimleyTheCat @MsChloeCatdashian and @FranAndMurph

If you have ever considered volunteering, definitely give it a try. Lovebugs is a reputable organization and cares greatly for each and every rescue. I was a little intimidated as a first time foster, but it’s been very rewarding and Lovebugs is very supportive and flexible with your schedule. There’s a really great group of volunteers here and I’m very proud to be a part of this amazing team.


Lena Nilsson and Gary Roger

Adult Fosters

We became interested in dog rescue during our ten years living on St Kitts and Nevis in the Caribbean.

Most dogs on the islands are not considered pets and many are treated badly: not enough food and water, no veterinary care, etc. Some are tied up in agricultural fields to help farmers protect their crops from monkeys. Demodectic mange is rampant and so are tick diseases such as Ehrlichiosis. When we returned from the Caribbean (bringing one rescued dog with us) we wanted to continue helping dogs in need and found Lovebugs Rescue via an internet search. We were very impressed with their work as illustrated on their web site. The requirements from Lovebugs Rescue are that you participate in adoption events and show your foster dog to potential adopters. Fostering rescued dogs is very rewarding and we would recommend it to anyone who loves dogs. The more foster families available, the more dogs can be rescued!



Sabrina Low Dumound

Puppy Foster

I’ve been a foster with Lovebugs Rescue for 2 years, as of July 2017. While it has been a lot of work, it has been one of the most rewarding ways I’ve experienced to give back to my community.

I’ve learned a ton about dog training, raising pups, socializing dogs and general dog health/medical procedures.  I’ve met some amazing people both within the Lovebugs Rescue family as well as ‘forever families’ who have adopted our pups. We currently have two dogs who are both rescues and one of them (Gus) is an adoption from Lovebugs Rescue. Lovebugs worked with my comfort level as well. I didn’t want to bottle feed or foster any pregnant dogs initially until I had more experience. Now after two years, I’m fostering a mom and her litter and feel confident given my level of experience. If you’re looking to make a difference and you LOVE dogs, this is truly a wonderful opportunity.


Sara Lira

Adult Foster

I adopted my dog Wolfie from Lovebugs Rescue and fell in love everything about the organization.  I decided to start fostering dogs in 2019 and knew I wanted it to be with Lovebugs.

It is so rewarding and inspiring knowing that I can help make a positive difference in an animals life. I’ve been fostering and have also put on some fundraising events to raise funds to help offset their ongoing medical expenses. Photographed with me is Skippy one of my foster dogs. He was rescued from Moreno Valley shelter after he had been hit by a car and was left laying in the street. He sat in the shelter for a week when Lovebugs saw him and scooped him to safety. Skippy had to have surgery on his leg to put a plate in so it could heal. He was a pretty active fella, but I fostered him all the way through his recovery process and now he is living in the perfect home in Los Angeles with another dog to pal around with.


Karen Johnson

Puppy Foster

I met Heather when volunteering for another rescue organization. When she started Lovebugs Rescue, I fostered their very first pregnant mother with pups.

Lovebugs Rescue went to the Riverside shelter to pull some adult dogs, when the rescue coordinator at the shelter explained that one of their pregnant dogs was in trouble. She was scheduled to be euthanized if they couldn’t find a rescue to take her.  Needless-to-say, she hitched a ride back to Orange County with Lovebug Rescue and quickly settled into my home. Her name was Precious and she was a black poodle with 6 puppies. I’ve been fostering with Lovebugs ever since and have done a variety pack of moms with pups, orphaned puppies, bottle kittens, adult dogs – you name it! Rescue is very rewarding because it’s a way of giving back to the community. I’m a teacher and it’s fun to have kids come over for play dates with the puppies to help socialize them. My current two dogs, Crystal and Tahoe, are rescue mutts and there is no better breed than RESCUE!


Karla Stagman

Puppy Foster

We foster with Lovebugs Rescue because it saves lives!  Caring for puppies in our home, with our own pets, is a stepping stone in preparing a homeless puppy for a loving, forever home.

We foster with Lovebugs Rescue because it saves lives!  Caring for puppies in our home, with our own pets, is a stepping stone in preparing a homeless puppy for a loving, forever home. The skills, training and love that we provide as fosters can make a huge positive difference in finding a permanent home for each puppy. As a family, we also enjoy all the benefits of endless puppy snuggles and cuteness overload! Our kids learn valuable skills and grow as responsible care-takers.
With fostering, you get the joy caring for puppies and the satisfaction of making a positive contribution to an overwhelmed shelter tasked with caring for dogs in need.  You become a voice for each dog in your care, and a guide on their path to a positive future. It is rewarding to see them begin to blossom in just a couple of weeks. Helping just one dog, even for a short time, makes a big difference. We love getting to know each puppy, figuring out their personalities, and helping them learn how to trust and love.  It’s rewarding to find the perfect family for each pup and then to continue to hear from them as they grow up in their forever home. 
We are so thankful to Heather and Lovebugs Rescue for giving us this wonderful opportunity to make a difference! 


Cindy Su

Administrative Coordinator

Daniel and I heard about Lovebugs Rescue as we watched our regular morning news show on KTLA at 4 a.m. in October 2012. The moment that I saw that Lovebugs was located in Irvine, it was like fate!

Daniel suggested that we become fosters to see if having a dog would fit into our lifestyle. After a 20-minute phone call with Stacey, we got our first foster dog – Pickle – and our love for dogs was born. As we learned more about dog issues (medical, abandonment and more), we couldn’t turn away from being volunteers with Lovebugs. We wanted to make a difference in the community and Lovebugs was a great fit for us – and we truly believe in its mission. We went from being a foster family, to volunteers at local events, to current administrative assistants. Although we are no longer able to foster dogs in the organization, we are thrilled to be able to continue to volunteer at events and help with the back-end work that never ends. We have encouraged many others to adopt and understand the importance of neutering and spaying your animals. Spreading awareness is critical and because of Lovebugs, we’ve learned a lot about that. We are also proud parents to Vixen who was our second foster dog in December 2014. She’s been a great fit for our family in the last four years. Our hearts are full with her presence.


Rachel Evegan

Marketing Director

I started working with Lovebugs Rescue in 2016, after adopting two dogs from them and meeting Heather. Everyone involved in this rescue inspired me, and I could tell that I had found like minded people who truly care about the welfare of animals

as much as I do.

Each day I try to look for ways to use my marketing talents to spread the word about Lovebugs Rescue, and hopefully help more dogs find their forever homes. Every life deserves to be a happy one, and I am so grateful that Lovebugs Rescue can continue to be a success.


Sherry Nativo

CPDT-KA, KPA-CTP – Trainer

I left the corporate world to become a professional dog trainer several years ago. I became involved with Lovebugs Rescue when some of their foster dogs needed help.

A few years later, I decided to raise a litter of puppies since early socialization is the most important part of a dog’s life. I admit that I was a little nervous after asking Lovebugs for a pregnant momma dog to foster, but their support was great. Raising a litter of puppies, socializing them with people, dogs, the car, the crate and potty training them was an amazing experiences. And yes, I did lie on the floor and let all seven puppies jump all over me. Puppies need a strong foundation, they need to adapt to their dog world and to our human world. It was truly a pleasure to provide my knowledge and skill in order to grow these pups into well-behaved dogs.

Lovebugs recently asked me to foster a terrified Chihuahua that could not be handled. Unfortunately his story isn’t unique, but I was able to provide him with what he needed so that he could live in our human world without fear. My dog training business, All About Training Dogs, is my dream job. I’m blessed to have the opportunity to help dogs, and their humans. Being a part of Lovebugs Rescue is the icing on the cake.


Cathy Boutelle

Adult Foster

I have always has a passion for animals my entire life; especially for dogs. Lovebugs Rescue helped me and my husband find the perfect match with Chewy (formerly Coco Puff) to add to our family.

After the passing of two of our beloved dogs, I began my rescue/foster journey in 2016. Since I couldn’t adopt all the dogs, I wanted to find a way to help more dogs in need. Working with Lovebugs Rescue has been an inspiring and fulfilling experience. Our family has 2 resident dogs, which includes a foster failure; Rocket, and we enjoy spending our time attending dog friendly outings around Orange County and LA.


Michelle Harrington

Puppy Foster

I found Lovebugs Rescue through a work acquaintance that adopted a dog with Lovebugs Rescue years earlier.

I began following the rescue on social media and always admired the cases they took on; PARVO, heart issues, orphaned puppies – the list goes on. Little did I know that one day I’d be lucky enough to foster with the organization. I have loved animals since I can remember and have always taken in strays, rehabilitated and found homes for them. My charitable heart isn’t limited to just dogs and cats. I’ve rescued squirrels, hummingbirds, a crow, an owl fledgling, a ferret and many more! Once my work schedule allowed for more free time, I jumped at the chance to do my part in helping animals that have no voice. Having three dogs and three cats of my own limits me to the type of animals I can foster, but it doesn’t stop me (or my very patient husband). So far the “sweet spot” seems to be orphaned puppies looking for their forever homes. My cats could care less about the rescued pups and my dogs are very tolerable in showing them the ropes so that they can be social in the future. It gives me such pleasure to place a puppy in a home that I believe they will thrive in. I truly believe that a person’s heart can be judged by how they treat animals and my goal is to be the person my dogs know I am.


Gary Macheske

Adult Foster

I have been helping animals in need since I was 10 years old and would find strays while I was delivering my newspapers.

I now have 5 rescue dogs of my own and love to foster with Lovebugs Rescue which is so committed to helping any animal that we can find a foster home for. I volunteer with Lovebugs because I am lucky enough to have known the founder of the group for years and have so much respect for how she runs the rescue! If you would like to foster a bigger dog and want to discuss it with someone who has a lot of experience with that, fill out a FOSTER application and I will contact you!


Cristy Durian

Adult Foster

I have been following Lovebugs Rescue social media for years. I always wanted to foster and knew from following them that Lovebugs was the only rescue for me.

They do so much not just for “cute” little puppies but also for the older dogs, sick dogs and the community. I love helping pups and families find each other. There is nothing like a dog to complete your home.


Kathy Poremba

Puppy Foster & Bottle Feeder

I’ve been fostering with Lovebugs Rescue since the beginning. I have fostered puppies & kittens in various stages through the years, pregnant mothers, newborns with mom and orphaned puppies/kittens without mom.

The calls I get most often are the ones needing help with newborns that need to be bottle fed. These puppies need round the clock care because the first two weeks of life is the most crucial period for survival. I’m up with the puppies through the night, and they come to the office with me during the day, and I love it! It’s so rewarding to give back and who doesn’t love puppy snuggles?


Sandy O’Loughlin

Administrative Assistant

I discovered Lovebugs rescue through my sister, who was a foster and volunteer, back in 2012. I am currently the admin support for the organization and volunteer at events.

I love helping doggies find their furever home and happiness because they bring me nothing but joy and happiness!


Debbie Kerns

Puppy Foster

I’ve been fostering litters of puppies off and on for the last 5 years. I found Lovebugs when I adopted my own puppy from them. I was so impressed by the love and care my puppy received from her Lovebugs foster.

She truly seemed to enjoy fostering the puppies and had a process and routine that made it look easy. I thought “I want to do that.” Five years later, I have learned so much from fostering puppies and it has turned out to be so much more rewarding than I expected. Heather and Stacey, founder and rescue director of Lovebugs respectively, are great mentors. All of my many questions when I have a frightened, shy, probably feral momma dog, sick puppy, your name it are answered immediately. The support I receive from this caring group is the reason I continue to foster. I am so proud to be affiliated with this caring, thoughtful, quality, well run organization.


Lori Elm

Volunteer & Transport

Dogs have always been a huge part of my life. I grew up with mostly large breed dogs, taking care of them and including them in family activities. They were definitely considered official family members, and my closest confidantes.

Kona is my current pup and my third rescue. I got him in 2009 from a Dog Rescue organization in San Diego. Apparently, they pulled him out of a high-kill shelter just in time, as he was on the schedule to be euthanized. I am eternally grateful that he was saved, because I can’t imagine not having this beautiful boy in my life.


I first heard of Lovebugs about six years ago, when my husband found six newborn puppies at his job site. After looking around for the mother, he scooped the pups up and called me to ask if I could come and get them. I brought them home and hurried to Petco, where the employee kindly gave me a quick run down on what I needed to bottle-feed and how to do it. For the next two days I fed them around the clock until a co-worker told my husband about Lovebugs Rescue. Heather was contacted and she and another volunteer spent the day in Santa Ana looking for the mother, finally trapping her and bringing her to Heather’s house. I brought the puppies to her house, where mother and babies were reunited.


I’ve been following Lovebugs on Instagram ever since, and have always been impressed at what a well-run organization it is. I’ve thought about volunteering for a while now, and finally decided to jump in and do it in May, 2019. So far, I have worked at one adoption event and transported two litters of puppies to their foster homes, as well as an older pup. I’ve loved every minute of it, and look forward to doing more to help out.


Kanna Beckwith

Volunteer & Transport

When my friend Lori Elm told me about Lovebugs Rescue, I couldn’t wait to jump in and help! To me, there’s nothing like that warm, fuzzy feeling from being with dogs, caring for them, and helping them find their forever homes.

Everyone on the Lovebugs Rescue team have hearts of gold, and it shows in their care, kindness, and commitment to making a difference in these dogs’ lives. I’m so happy to be involved with this amazing organization.

For inspiration, I also look to my two rescues, Dexter and Enzo. Dexter was found on a freeway off-ramp when he was just a few weeks old, showing me the power of his resilient spirit. He may be a little weirdo… but he’s our weirdo. <3 Enzo was rescued from a ditch before we adopted him. He shows me what compassion is all about, as he will baby everything from chickens to chinchillas. You can find them on Instagram at @enzo_and_the_alien.