Mariah Foy takes great pride in her work as a veterinary technician at Helping Strays of Monroe County.
“My goal for working at Helping Strays is, and has always been, taking care of the animals that don't have a family to take care of them,” Foy told SW Illinois News. “They all deserve to be loved like a family would love them until they have their forever homes. I also strive to build relationships in the community with adopters and our volunteers.”
Foy started working at Helping Strays in October 2018 as an animal care attendant and was promoted to vet tech in March.
”I am so lucky that this is the shelter I've had the opportunity to work at,” she said. “The shelter itself is beautiful, and they strive to rescue as many as they can and adopt them all out to loving families. My favorite thing about my job is the bonds I get to create, both with animals and people. It gives me such fulfillment and puts so much joy in my heart to connect with others authentically.”
Foy was born in New York and raised in New Jersey. She has been a resident of the Belleville area for the past decade and graduated from Vatterott College in Fairview Heights in 2016 with an associate’s degree in applied science, specializing as a veterinary technician. She has previously worked in an animal nutrition-based role for Purina and in the veterinary clinic of the Humane Society of Missouri.
“Working with animals has been what I've wanted to do for as long as I could remember,” Foy said. “As a child, I was so allergic to any kind of animal with fur that I couldn't be around them, and that broke my heart. I was determined to do what I wanted to with my life, so I did whatever it took to do just that. Overcoming my allergies was no easy task. It was a lot of figuring out which over-the-counter medications worked, along with an injection every three months to help the allergies as well. Now, I'm currently on two different allergy medications and I seem to do all right.”
When she’s not working, Foy enjoys spending time with her own dogs and cats, painting, sculpting, playing music and reading books. She even offers her assistance to Helping Strays during her time off by fostering animals and helping to train dogs. She also volunteers her time at a nonprofit working with therapy horses when visiting family in New Jersey.