By Kaileigh Deacon
For a lot of people the love of animals comes naturally and just as easily as breathing, and for Princeton resident Ronda Cobb it is no different. For Ronda the love of animals started at birth and grew up with the more traditional dog and cat pets in her house but deep down the desire for more was always there.
Over the years, Ronda has turned her love of animals from passion to profession having volunteered at PAWS for four years and working as a veterinary assistant for seven. In these jobs she learned a great deal of animal care and ways to put it into practice. Now Ronda works full time as a farrier, farmer, pet sitter and Animal Control Officer. She and her husband started Water’s Edge Farm in South Princeton bringing her husband’s upbringing on a farm full circle.
After marrying her husband Terry twenty-six years ago and starting a family of their own, Ronda started to get more animals to grow with her family as well. It started when her husband decided to get a horse for their kids and didn’t tell her. Since then the number of animals Ronda takes care of has grown and includes one Highland Bull, five Highland cows, one Highland Steer, two Highland heifer calves, two jersey cows, a fourteen year old pig, a herd of Nigerian dwarf and mini lamancha goats, a flock of chickens, Sebastopol geese and peacocks. They also have three Great Danes, one German Shepard, one Australian Shepherd and a little terrier and several farm cats.
Water’s Edge Farm in South Princeton is where Ronda works with all these animals as well as taking care of several animals in need of care. Through her work as Animal Control Officer, Ronda often takes in animals that need help until they find the home they need. She works with the animals to get them ready for their homes but also to find the perfect fit for the animal in the perfect home. When looking for placement for an animal, which can be anything from a cat to a horse, Ronda looks to find the right home through word of mouth through friends and vet references. If someone isn’t the right fit for an animal she has no problem telling them no. “My priority is the best FIT for the pet,” Ronda said. When Ronda takes in an animal before finding its perfect home she makes sure they have vet care spaying and neutering and in turn only asks for a donation to reimburse this amount for each animal she homes so she can provide the same services for the next animals she brings in.
Ronda also takes one day a month to offer a pet nail trimming event at the Calais Tractor Supply. For $5 per animal owners can bring their animals in to have their nails trimmed. Not all animals travel well and Ronda often makes house calls to do nail trimmings charging $10 per animal. In a time when house calls are almost unheard of for anything, Ronda does what is in the best interest of the animals.
“Ronda is such a treasure to our community, not just as an animal control officer but as a help and a teacher. She has taken Zoey under her wing and taught her so much about animals and how to care for them,” Penni Therialut of ZBaby Farm in Princeton said. “Recently my family has gone through some health issues and Ronda has been more than happy to help with our farm animals right down to spending all night trying to save a new born baby goat.”
In a time when a lot of old ways are considered antiquated and out of date one woman and her family are working to bring their passion for animals to their friends and neighbors. Helping to give animals the best care she can as well as giving back to her community Ronda Cobb gives animal care a whole new meaning.