Did you know? Millions of people around the world have read MUTTS — either in their newspaper or online — since the strip’s debut in 1994! We often receive questions asking about Patrick about his beloved characters and inspirations. We are appreciative of your interest and, as a treat, we’ve decided to share a few MUTTS fun facts. Time to dive into the world of MUTTS!

Patrick’s first dog — a Jack Russell terrier named Earl, who lived to be almost 19 — was the inspiration for the Earl in the MUTTS comic strip.

Published November 10, 2020


According to Patrick, the strips featuring just Ozzie and Earl are often biographical.

Published June 12, 2020


When Patrick was seven, he wrote to Peanuts creator Charles Schulz suggesting he add a cat pal for Snoopy. Schulz didn’t add a cat, but he did send Patrick an autographed picture of the Peanuts cast. Later, as a cartoonist himself, Patrick drew the character Mooch as a friend for Earl.

Published May 26, 2013


Patrick didn’t intend for Mooch to stay in the MUTTS strip “forever,” but like so many real-life cats Patrick has known in real life, Mooch just kind of … stuck around. Over the years Mooch has displayed many personalities, and you will find him in the strip not only as himself, but also as the Shphinx, the Little Cat King, the Pink Sock, and the Dude.

Published June 10, 2019


Every summer Mooch and Earl go on vacation “down the shore,” which is based loosely on the Jersey Shore, where Patrick spent many summers growing up.

Published August 3, 2015


Shtinky Puddin’s real name is Jules.

Published November 21, 2020


In New Jersey (where still Patrick lives), there is a specialty license plate which features MUTTS and benefits the New Jersey State Department of Health’s Animal Population Control Program.

Published September 25, 2020


Mooch has a pet snail whom he calls “Little Earl,” but whose real name is Speed-o. Mooch loves taking him on walks.

Published May 16, 2016


Patrick’s drawing desk is situated in front of a large window, where he watches small wildlife like squirrels and birds. These backyard animals often provide Patrick with ideas for the animals in the strip.

Published May 28, 2020


Sunday title panels are also called “throwaway” panels because a newspaper may choose not to run it if they need the extra space for content. Most comic strips use a template for these type of panels, but Patrick aims to make each of them unique, usually doing an homage to an artist, a piece of classic art, or something in pop culture.

Published August 4, 2019


We hope you’ve enjoyed learning more about Patrick and his lovable MUTTS characters! If you’ve been with MUTTS for a long time, you may already know some these, but we’d love to hear which were new to you. (And, what other types of fun facts would you like to know?)

Comments (7)

I never knew Mooch had a pet snail.

Mildred vennerbeck

I didn’t know Patrick wrote to Charles Schultz when he was 7. I also didn’t know about the Sunday throw away thing.


I’ve been a fan from the beginning! But I think I never knew Little Earl’s real name :-D


I have been a fan for more than twenty years. I have Mutts Bookes. I buy the yearly calendar, I have boxes of MUTTs comic strips I read over and over again. A day without MUTTS is a day without sunshine. I’m 91 years old.


Dear Friends,

You have no idea how happy you make me everyday. I’ve been following Mutts from the beginning and little I knew I was going to end up with two pets just like them. I have a female Rat Terrier named Luna and a black and white male cat named Ashe (both rescues). Luna is 9 and Ashe is 1. And reading this article what made me laugh was that you have one strip with a snail. Guess what? My sister has a pet snail named Gary (also a rescue, she saved it from being step over in the middle of the street).

Thank you for sharing your talents with the world for a great cause.

Happy Earth day!


Desirée Vignola

I feel we are all blessed to have draw these comics, I absolutely love them all, I’d like to see Jules alittle more. His comic hugging a tree, and the loss of animals in Australia brought me to tears. ♥️U🐱🐶🐾


I have been loving MUTTS for years. Mooch and his Little Pink Sock strips are my favorites along with the Shelter Stories. I was blown away that Patrick wrote to Charles Schulitz when he was seven. I’ve been reading Peanuts for as long as I’ve know how to read. As a child I cut out and saved my favorites. Now I’m doing that with MUTTS. Thank you for bringing such happiness!

Linda Rafferty