Tricia Moyer-Mentzer, a 2003 graduate of Penn State University, is executive director of Hillside SPCA, Pottsville. In 1996, while a student at Schuylkill Haven Area High School, she started as a volunteer at the shelter, doing community service hours. About a year later, she started working at the shelter and in 2001, became a Humane Society police officer.

She and her husband, Corey Mentzer, reside in Mar Lin in a home full of adopted animals that Corey refers to as “the land of the misfits.”

Q: Where did your love of animals come from?

A: I can honestly say I don’t know where the love came from. I remember always having a dog, and being around animals was one of my first memories.

Q: What is the most challenging part of your job?

A:The most challenging part of my job is managing the many different personalities of the people that work at the shelter. All of our employees have something great to offer but the shelter is a very stressful place so sometimes handling all of the emotions that come along with it, is very hard.

Q: What was your first pet?

A: My first pet was an English springer spaniel named Casey Marie. She lived to be 16 years old.

Q: What is your favorite way to relax?

A: The only time I truly get to relax is when I am at the beach. It is my “happy place.”

Q: If someone wants to help animals, but can’t adopt, what other ways can they help?

A: People are welcome to volunteer at our shelter any day of the week. The shelter is a super busy place but our animals love seeing new faces and welcome the extra attention!

Q: What is the most rewarding part of your job?

A: The most rewarding part of my job is seeing animals find their forever homes. Even more so, receiving adoption photos of them months later after they have fully settled in and acclimated to their new home — that is when you really know you’re job is done. Mission complete!

Q: Do you have any hobbies? If so, what are they?

A: I love to shop with my mom and sister. Would consider that one of my favorite things to do.

Q: What do you want to be remembered for?

A: Not that I hope to go anywhere any time soon, I hope that when I am no longer around, I am remembered for always trying my very best, giving every animal and human sometimes more than a second chance that they deserve and that I always rooted for the underdog.

Q: What is your favorite movie and TV show?

A: Favorite movie is “How the Grinch Stole Christmas.” Favorite TV show “Law & Order: SVU” (the old ones with Elliot Stabler).

Q: What is one of your guilty pleasures?

A: I don’t really even feel that guilty about it (haha but yeah I guess it’s wrong) … mixing brownie mix or strawberry cake batter and eating it raw straight from the bowl, as a meal.

Q: If you could own an exotic animal, what would it be?

A: While I love all animals and they are unique in their own way, I would NOT want to own an exotic pet. I believe they’re exotic for a reason and should be kept that way. To each their own, I guess!

Q: What’s the best thing about owning a pet?

A: Unconditional love, loyalty, companionship, devotion, lifetime of memories.

Q: What is your favorite time of year and why?

A: Summer!!!! Lots of time to be outside with the dogs.