While many rabbit owners prefer to keep their furry, plant-eating pets in some variation of a cage, Aska Langman’s rabbits once lived in an unconventional location in her New York city home: the bathtub. Today, some of the critters under Langman’s care, like foster kittens and chicks, also spend time in the bathtub of her Victor, Idaho, home, enjoying its safety and security. “They are happy playing, pooping, and eating there,” Langman says.
Langman plays an integral role in safeguarding a wide range of animals in Teton Valley, Idaho, where she has lived for eight years. She has worked as practice manager and veterinary technician at Victor Vet, and she used to manage the Teton Valley Community Animal Shelter in Driggs. Now, she is executive director for Wyoming Untrapped, a nonprofit organization devoted to trapping reform. In her free time, she volunteers for PAWS of Jackson Hole and the Animal Adoption Center in Jackson.
As a city-dwelling child, Langman adored animals and spent her time raising a wide array of critters, from tiny snails to hamsters, gerbils, and cats. Her passion for animals led her to eventually earn a bachelor’s degree in animal science from the University of Vermont. She looks back on her lifelong love of animals, saying, “It was my path from the very beginning.”
Today, she raises three dogs, five cats, 20 chickens, three horses, three goats, and four pigs—all rescue animals—on her Victor property. When animals are in need of a home, Langman commits her time and energy not only to providing shelter for the animals, but also to ensuring proper training, which ultimately increases their likelihood of being adopted. She follows the training advice of her friend Krissi Goetz, a licensed dog trainer and member of Jackson Hole Positive Training, to help train canines and get them ready for adoption.
The energy put forth to train young puppies and kittens helps assure people who adopt the animals they are bringing home a well-behaved pet. Langman hopes her effort will extend to the people who adopt animals, and they will continue to recognize the benefits of adopting animals rather than buying them.
Langman also travels to the Wind River Reservation twice a year to help spay and neuter dogs and cats with Dr. Heather Carlton and the Spay and Neuter Wyoming program. Over two days, roughly 200 cats and dogs are spayed and neutered through the program, which helps reduce the number of stray animals in the area.
Spending so much of her time with animals comes naturally to Langman, who enjoys the time she spends training, sheltering, feeding, and playing with her rescues and fosters. She thinks the effort is worth it to provide the animals with a healthy and happy home.