Professional tips from a leading animal expert, presented in a way children understand and enjoy
“Designed to help kids get pet-savvy, it may help grown-ups check their skills, too. ”
Houston Chronicle
“A wonderful resource for families! Children learn how to interact responsibly with animals. ”
Bonnie Whalen, MD, Professor of Pediatrics
University of Wisconsin Children’s HospitalDogs & Cats & Kids teaches respect for animals without creating fear. With lots of appealing dogs and cats, remarkable animal footage, and a positive, kid-friendly approach, the video shows children how to be safe around pets and strays. Young people learn a few simple rules for avoiding potentially dangerous situations and dealing with them if they occur. The video’s information is presented in an age-appropriate way, within the skill level and motor abilities of young children. At the end of the video, an interactive, “game show” quiz reinforces learning.The need for this information is clear. Not only are young people more likely to be bitten, the injuries are more likely to be serious. The journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics reports: “Injuries to the head, neck and face areas are common in young children and often result in significant trauma requiring hospitalization.” A child’s small stature puts head and neck in close range of an attacking animal. Children tend to bring their faces close, into an area that may be instinctively perceived as a threat by a dog or cat, and the natural exuberance of young people may unknowingly lead to actions that can prompt an attack. Remember that even the gentlest animal may attack if it feels threatened.Dogs, Cats & Kids teaches children …

• How to read dog and cat body language
• When to approach a pet and when not to disturb it
• The right ways to handle and play with their pets
• The warning signs that say “stay away”
• Why neighbor pets are different than our own
• Why never to stare into a dog’s eyes, or pet a cat on its stomach
• Situations to avoid in the home, in a neighbor’s home, and outside
• How to be a “tree” or a “rock” if a stray threatens

Dogs, Cats & Kids was created by Donald Manelli, the former head writer of “Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom” — the most popular animal show ever broadcast on American TV. It features Wayne Hunthausen, DVM, one of the world’s leading authorities on companion animal behavior and former president of the American Veterinary Society of Animal Behavior.

Dogs, Cats & Kids presents the safety practices and precautions recommended by leading animal behavior experts and organizations, and teaches them in a way that children understand, remember and enjoy learning. But it is important to note that animals may be unpredictable and no defensive technique can be an absolute guarantee against a bite or scratch injury. The best advice is that given in the video — learn to interact safely with animals, recognize their warning signs, and avoid potentially dangerous animals and situations.

Dogs, Cats & Kids is designed for children in grades K through 4.

The video is 27 1/2 minutes long, including the interactive quiz at the end. It is available in VHS and DVD. See “How To Order” for ordering information.

For older children

A companion video, Dogs, Cats & BIG Kids, is available for older children (grades 4 to 8). With an age-appropriate approach, it includes the same important information and award-winning footage, and adds new bite prevention skills within the abilities of kids in the upper grades. It is widely praised by parents and professionals and, most importantly, kids love it.

“In lessons that are gentle and caring, ‘Dogs, Cats & Kids’ teaches children
how to show affection to their pets without scaring the animals.”

Cat Fancy Magazine

 Dogs, Cats & Kids – What Others Are Saying

Dogs, Cats & Kids has been reviewed by the media, educators, pediatricians,
animal behavior experts – and children.

Consumer Media and Professional Journals

“Should be required viewing for all families with young children – whether they own a pet or not.”
Steve Dale, Chicago Tribune nationally syndicated columnist

“An excellent primer that may help a child avert injury.”
Seattle Times

“Some of the video’s best advice focuses on reacting to a potentially dangerous stray dog.”
Cincinnati Enquirer

“An animated and engaging video…energetic and imaginative.”
Dallas Morning News

“Teaches respect for animals without creating fear.”
Louisville Courier-Journal

“This excellent program is highly recommended.” (4 stars, Editor’s Choice)
Video Librarian

“The right ways to approach, handle, and play with pets.”
Los Angeles Times

“The message it carries is an essential one for the safety and well-being of all our children.”
ASPCA Animal Watch

“The video is ideal for one’s own children, for children visiting a pet household, or as a thoughtful gift for anyone who loves kids and animals.”
The Latham Letter, Latham Foundation

“The program is well scripted and elicits understanding, not fear.”
Billboard Magazine

“Designed to help a kid get pet-savvy, it may help grown-ups check their skills, too.”
Houston Chronicle

“Learning how to be safe with pets is imperative, and this video goes far in communicating how pets behave and how kids should behave with them.”
Children’s Video Review

“The information it conveys is must-have stuff for kids, even those that don’t have pets at home.”
Pet Life Magazine

“The first-rate video “Dogs, Cats & Kids” will help preschoolers and school-age children develop positive relationships with animals…kid and animal friendly.”
Cats Magazine

“In lessons that are gentle and caring, “Dogs, Cats & Kids” teaches children how to show affection to their pets without scaring the animals.”
Cat Fancy Magazine

“Great family viewing. A gift that will last all year.”
Dog World Magazine


“This program is very timely and a life skill for all of us. I give my highest recommendation
to this program.”
Julian Q. Waters, Principal
Garrison Mill Elementary School, Marietta, GA

“Our children are still talking about all the lessons they learned..”
Carlita Cortinez, Teacher
North Miami Learning Center, Miami, FL

“This program has had a profound effect on our children.”
April Lewis, Teacher
Birney Elementary School, Marietta, GA

“My class has asked to watch the video over and over.”
Beth Morgan, Teacher
Winthrop Academy, Rome, GA

“I am confident that my children will use the safety precautions they learned from your program when they come into contact with not just their own pets but other animals as well.”
Melissa Wilson, Teacher
Teasley Elementary School Atlanta, GA

“This program is truly a hit with our children, parents and staff.”
Ms. Bodelson, ESOL Instructor
Dolvin Elementary School, Alpharetta, GA

Physicians and Animal Behavior Professionals

“A wonderful resource for families. Children learn how to interact responsibly with animals while minimizing the risk of a bite or scratch.”
Bonnie Whalen, MD, Professor of Pediatrics
University of Wisconsin Children’s Hospital, Madison, WI

“The content is excellent. The tools for reading an animal’s body language and avoiding high risk situations are invaluable.”
Khanh-Van Le-Bucklin, MD
Salter Packard Children’s Hospital, Stanford University

“A great blend of humane education and public health information. Really reaches the group
at highest risk.”
Dr. Randall Lockwood
Humane Society of the United States

“It gives children the knowledge they need to remain safe and enjoy happy, healthy
relationships with their pets.”
Marty Becker, DVM
National columnist, TV personality & radio show host

“This program should prove a tremendous benefit to communities nationwide.”
Janet Booream
Nashville Public Health Department

“Not only was the video impressive to me, but members of my family also enjoyed it and picked up the suggested techniques very quickly.”
Michael Taylor, Manager Community Safety
National Safety Council

“It is fantastic. A must for anyone working with kids and pets.”
Tina Valent
Pet Therapy Consultant

“I teach dog bite prevention to pre-k thru 4th grade students in the Georgia school system. I am still in awe when 2 and 3 year old children stand to imitate standing still like a tree, or get all the questions right during the quiz at the end. ‘Dogs, Cats & Kids’ is the centerpiece of our program and I believe this video should be viewed by all families with children, whether they have a companion animal in their home or not.”
Fran Heffern
Bear’s World, Inc.

Children (from post screening questionnaires)

“That was the coolest movie I ever saw in school.”
Joel, 4th grade

“In the movie I learned to never run away from a dog and to stand still like a tree. There are lots of dogs when I walk home and I am not afraid anymore.”
Jeffery, 2nd grade

“I really like it. I love to learn things about dogs and cats. I’m just telling you I really like it.”
Austin, 3rd grade

“I had the best time. I like the muve.” (sic)
Regis, 2nd grade

“I liked the part when we watch the movie. It was very fun. I did not know much about cats and dogs.”
Andrew, 3rd grade

“I learned so much. I can’t wait to get a dog of my own.”
Avery, 3rd grade

“I did not know that dogs could run faster than kids and we should not try to and we should be a tree or a rock.”
Brian, 3rd grade

Awards and Endorsements

Dogs, Cats & Kids has received many awards and recommendations, including …

Parents’ Choice
Silver Medal – New York International Film Festival
Silver Medal – Worldfest, Houston
Bronze Medal – Information Film Producers Association
Creative Excellence Award – U.S. Industrial Film Festival

Humane Society of the United States
American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals
The American Veterinary Medical Association
The Latham Foundation

“Teaches respect for animals without creating fear.”
Louisville Courier-Journal


Animal Attacks: Keeping Children Safe

Animals and Children Together

There are 65 million dogs and 77.6 million cats in U.S. households. 72% of all parent households have one or more pets at home. Many studies show that the unconditional affection of a pet can be a positive influence on a child’s development. Pets can relieve anxiety, teach important lessons about life and responsibility, and provide emotional continuity when parents are absent. Pets can be loyal, accessible companions throughout the childhood years.

Unfortunately, there is often trouble when animals and young people are together. With their natural exuberance and limited understanding of animal behavior, children may tease, overexcite, or unknowingly threaten a pet, leading to a sudden attack. Bite and scratch injuries are one of today’s leading health risks for children. According to JAMA (Journal of the American Medical Association),dog bite injuries rank second among the common causes of emergency room visits for young people.Surprisingly, more than 70% of all bite injuries are from an animal the child knows – a household or neighborhood pet.

A National Epidemic

Dog bite injuries have been called a national epidemic. There are some 5 million reported dog bites every year according to the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention. Undoubtedly, many more attacks go unreported and untreated. The problem is growing worse. During the last decade, the number of bite injuries increased by 33%. While reported cat bites are not as numerous, an estimated 700,000 people a year are bitten. Up to half of all cat bites become infected.

Children are three times more likely than adults to suffer an animal-inflicted injury. And their injuries are much more likely to be serious. 77% of bite injuries to children under ten are facial. Pediatricsnotes that because of a child’s small stature and lack of developed motor skills, “Injuries to the head, neck, and face areas are common in young children and often result in serious trauma that may require hospitalization.” The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that 50% of all children will be bitten by a dog by the time they are twelve. There are more ER visits for dog bite injuries than for playground accidents, or for skateboards and inline skates combined.

In most cases, the attack is not the animal’s “fault.” It is simply the child’s unaware and inappropriate behavior that elicits an instinctive sudden response.

The Good News

With all of these alarming statistics, the good news is that most bite injuries are preventable. Just as we teach our children to dial 911, cross the street safely, and avoid dangerous situations with strangers, we can teach them how to behave safely around animals.

Education is the key. The Harvard Health Letter says “Children should be taught how to approach and handle pets, read their warning signs, and avoid high-risk situations.” From the Berkeley Wellness Letter: “Children in your household should be taught a few simple rules about handling cats in order to avoid being scratched or bitten.” According to Dr. Kim Blindauer, epidemiologist with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “Dog bite prevention programs especially need to target elementary school age children because they are at greatest risk for serious injury and death from dog bites.”

This is what “Dogs, Cats & Kids” is all about. It shows young people how to be safe with pets and strays. It creates respect for animals without instilling fear. It helps children build happy, healthy companion animal bonds that can be the foundation for a lifetime of pet guardianship. Children in households without pets also benefit because they often come into contact with neighborhood pets or free-roaming strays.

While no prevention strategy or technique can be a guarantee against a bite or scratch, the “Dogs, Cats & Kids” video incorporates the recommendations of nationally recognized animal behavior authorities and leading companion animal organizations, including the Humane Society of the United States. The video is entertaining, easy to understand, and non-threatening. Children love the program.

“Dogs, Cats & Kids” was developed by Donald Manelli, former head writer of “Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom,” the most popular wildlife series ever broadcast on American television, and Dr. Wayne Hunthausen, an internationally renowned authority on companion animal behavior and former president of the American Veterinary Society of Animal Behavior.

As Dr. Hunthausen says, “These are simple lessons kids really enjoy learning. The program is a lot of fun, and it could prevent serious injury or even save their lives.”

“Some of the video’s best advice focuses on
reacting to a potentially dangerous stray dog.”

Cincinnati Enquirer