Our Story

Patrick McDonnell started the MUTTS comic strip back in 1994, and it’s now published in over 700 newspapers in 20 countries. In 2003, MUTTS introduced its beloved cast of characters to the online world with a website and online store — and eventually, social media accounts. Today, the MUTTS community consists of print and digital readers all around the world. 

The MUTTS comic strip follows a funny and heartwarming group of animal and human characters, and focuses on being kind to animals and the earth (and to one another). 

Fun Facts About MUTTS

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.

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.)

Patrick advocates for animals outside the strip, too. He has served on the board of directors for the Humane Society of the United States and is currently on the board for the Fund for Animals, and has supported hundreds of local animal shelters through individual charitable donations. 

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

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 art. We work from home but collaborate every day. You’ll hear from us directly from time to time, especially on our blog, Instagram, and Facebook page.

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. 

Each month, we send out a newsletter with the latest updates about Patrick and MUTTS. If you want to be the first in line to read this ongoing interview series, simply 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.