Glen Zipper, producer of Netflix’s “Dogs” & “Cat People”

by | Jun 30, 2021

Glen Zipper—executive producer of the Netflix documentary series “Dogs,” whose second season begins airing July 7; Zipper also oversees a new feline-minded Netflix series, “Cat People,” which premieres July 7—describes the reaction from viewers to the first season of “Dogs”: clamoring for a second season, while another contingent blanketed Zipper with fervent entreaties for a cat-centric series. Clearly, those requests were granted. Zipper explains the process by which they search for dogs, and now, cats—and their humans—that would constitute these short documentaries, casting a wide, global net. This yields upwards of 80 doc contenders for each series, Zipper notes, outlining the criteria he and his team employ to winnow down to the six “Cat People” episodes and four new “Dogs” episodes—and how they look for somewhat different elements amidst the two series. While mindful to avoid spoilers, Zipper highlights a couple of stories from each new series, including the Butler University bulldog mascot and the humans who care for the dog (there are certainly other storylines), and a Brazilian priest’s singular devotion to unwanted stray and the network that develops to provide the dogs veterinary care, and find them homes; of “Cat People” docs, he mentions Sterling Davis, the prolific feral-cat rescuer known as “The Trap King,” and Sachi, the Japanese artist who creates commissioned 3D portraits of cats—so realistic, Zipper mentions, that some people seeing the “Cat People” trailer were worried Sachi’s enormously realistic work involved taxidermy (it doesn’t). Zipper addresses the sense of purpose that pervades the humans across these series, paralleling his own sense of purpose that, as he recalls, he himself didn’t feel until he stopped working as a criminal prosecutor living in New Jersey, began volunteering at an animal shelter, helping folks adopt dogs there—and adopted a pit bull, Anthony, and they were a formidable team for the next 17 years, helping lead Zipper out to Hollywood and into a successful, Oscar-winning documentary producer. Zipper lost Anthony a year and a half ago, and allows that he’s increasingly close to being ready to adopt another…dog. (,

ALSO: I also spoke briefly with Logan Vindett, executive director of Kindred Spirits Sanctuary, a facility in Citra, Florida that provides safe refuge to disabled, abused, abandoned, and neglected farmed animals. Vindett recounts the circumstances that led to Kindred Spirits taking in 34 pigs from a so-called “sanctuary” (she was careful not to name the place or offer identifying details) that allowed its pig population to exceed 400, and then the owner apparently ran short of money to feed and care for the animals. Vindett notes some pigs have skin cancer or eye problems—conditions that went untreated at the previous place—while many did not eat daily. The upshot is there are 34 more mouths to feed at Kindred Spirits—including the cute guy pictured here, Larry—and many of the new residents will need veterinary care that extends beyond what’s available from the in-house vet. So the Sanctuary could really use some financial support—Vindett made it clear they would welcome donations of any size.  (,,

COMEDY CORNER:  Steve Martin’s “Cat Handcuffs” (

MUSIC: Rebekah Pulley’s “Talking Animals Theme,” instrumentals

NAME THAT ANIMAL TUNE: Rufus Thomas’s “Walking The Dog”


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