By Ryan Cornell
Rebecca Sigler, 20, might have the best job in the world.
As the owner and founder of the Mini Menagerie Petting Zoo, Sigler looks after a collection of fun-sized animals at her Edinburg home and brings them out to different community events and festivals.
She said she started the zoo about two years ago while wrapping up her senior year at Central High School.
"I had a bunch of animals, and people were always asking if they could come over to my house to play with them," she said. "I thought it would be more convenient if I brought them out instead."
Her petting zoo includes miniature horses, miniature goats, rabbits and teacup pigs, all of which will be at the New Market Area Library at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday for a celebration for summer reading event.
The free event will also feature arts and crafts, ice cream and prize drawings for children who turn in their summer reading logs.
Sigler said the size of her animals make them more approachable for younger kids.
"We've done some community events where kids come through and they've never touched a horse before," she said. "And they're not as scared of the little ones as they would be of the big ones."
This past year, Sigler graduated from Blue Ridge Community College, where she completed the veterinarian assistant program. When she's not caring for her animals, she's busy working at Mt. Calvary Day Care in Mount Jackson.
She said she plans to expand the petting zoo once she moves to a farm with more space.
Sigler, who is booked every weekend in August, said all of the money raised from hosting these community events goes toward food for the animals.
For more information, visit the Mini Menagerie Petting Zoo on Facebook.
Contact staff writer Ryan Cornell at 540-465-5137 ext. 164, or firstname.lastname@example.org