Hi there, friends! The MUTTS community is growing every day, and we want to be sure our readers feel welcome and well-informed. If you’re new here and want to learn more about the people and philosophies behind the MUTTS comic strip, read on.
1. MUTTS has existed for over two decades. Patrick McDonnell started the strip back in 1994, which means this year will mark its 23rd anniversary! The strip has grown in popularity every year since it began, and is now published in over 700 newspapers in 20 countries.
2. The main characters, Mooch and Earl, are based on real animals. Earl the dog, an innocent pup who loves belly rubs, was inspired by Patrick’s late Jack Russell terrier, who lived with Patrick for over 18 years. Mooch the cat, a canny feline with a funny way of talking (“Yesh!”), is based on several cats from Patrick’s own life. You can read more about Mooch, Earl, and their friends on our Meet the Cast page.
3. Animal welfare is at the heart of MUTTS. Every year, Patrick dedicates two weeks of the strip to his ongoing “Shelter Stories” series, created to raise awareness for shelter animals and the people who care for them. (Animal safety, environmental conservation, and kindness are common themes throughout the rest of the year. You can learn more about our Manifesto here.)
4. Patrick advocates for animals outside the strip, too. He’s on the board of directors for both The Humane Society of the United States and the Fund for Animals, and has supported hundreds of local animal shelters through individual charitable donations. Visit our Artist page for more about Patrick’s background and advocacy work.
5. Patrick is an award-winning children’s book author and illustrator. He wrote his first children’s book, The Gift of Nothing, in 2005. Since then he’s written Me…Jane, A Perfectly Messed-Up Story, Thank You and Good Night, Tek: The Modern Cave Boy, and more.
6. Team MUTTS — the people behind the scenes — are a small and close-knit group. We handle the website, blog, MUTTS merchandise, and social media while allowing Patrick to do what he does best: create great art. We work from home (with our own animals!) but collaborate every day. You’ll hear from us directly from time to time, especially on our blog and Facebook page.
7. MUTTS has a vibrant, inclusive online community of readers. We’re not bragging. In fact, we’re constantly surprised and flattered by the friendly, engaging conversations that happen on the MUTTS Facebook page. The most common topics, as you’d imagine, include animal rescue, earth-friendly philosophies, and inspiration for humane daily living.
8. Each month, we send out a newsletter including a new Q&A with Patrick. If you want to be the first in line to read this ongoing interview series, simply visit our homepage to sign up for our email list. You’ll receive the daily strip delivered directly to your inbox, plus our monthly newsletter — or “newshletter,” as Mooch would say.