About this ComicThe AuthorsThe Characters

This daily newspaper comic strip, created by Patrick McDonnell in 1994, is centered on the day-to-day adventures of two companion animals: a dog named Earl and a cat named Mooch. Earl and Mooch interact with each other, their human guardians and a large cast of neighborhood animals.

Mutts explores the special bond between animals and their guardians, and the endearing friendship of Earl, the dog, and Mooch, the cat.  It strikes a delicate balance between joy, fun and responsible social commentary. Mutts has been recognized for its distinctive style, heartwarming humor and compassionate advocacy for animal issues.

Charles M. Schulz, the creator of Peanuts, was a fan of this strip, saying that it's "one of best comic strips of all time."

 Awards and Distinctions:

Comic Strip Excellence Awards

The National Cartoonists Society’s highest honor, The Reuben, for Cartoonist of the Year (1999)

Six (6) Harvey Awards for Best Comic Strip

Germany’s Max and Moritz Award for Best International Comic Strip

Swedish Academy of Comic Art’s Adamson Statuette

Recipient of The National Cartoonists Society Award for "Best Newspaper Comic Strip"

Environmental and Animal Advocacy Awards

Two (2) Genesis Awards from The Ark Trust

The HSUS Hollywood Genesis Award for Ongoing Commitment

PETA’s Humanitarian Award

Sierra Club Award

Patrick McDonnell

Patrick McDonnell

New York Times best-selling author Patrick McDonnell is the creator of the award-winning Mutts comic strip. Always striking a delicate balance between lighthearted fun and responsible social commentary, Mutts has been recognized by critics and popular press alike for its distinctive style, heartwarming humor, and strong yet non-preachy stance on important animal and environmental issues.

Created in 1994, Mutts appears in more than 700 newspapers and in 20 countries. It has been described by Peanuts creator Charles Schulz as "one of the best comic strips of all time." McDonnell has received numerous awards for this strip, including the National Cartoonists Society’s highest honor, The Reuben, for Cartoonist of the Year, six Harvey Awards for Best Comic Strip, Germany’s Max and Moritz Award for Best International Comic Strip and the Swedish Academy of Comic Art’s Adamson Statuette. Mutts has also won awards for its environmental and animal advocacy, including two Genesis Awards from The Ark Trust, The HSUS Hollywood Genesis Award for Ongoing Commitment, the PETA Humanitarian Award and a Sierra Club award.

The Mutts cartoons have been published in more than 20 compilation books in the United States and in numerous collections throughout the world. In 2003, fine art publisher Harry N. Abrams, Inc., published Mutts: The Comic Art of Patrick McDonnell, a monograph on McDonnell’s career.  Published in 2008, Shelter Stories: Love. Guaranteed. features his popular animal shelter-themed strips accompanied by real-life pet adoption stories submitted by readers worldwide.  In 2009, McDonnell collaborated with best-selling author and spiritual teacher Eckhart Tolle to create Guardians of Being, which utilizes the Mutts characters.

In 2005, McDonnell embarked on a children's book career. His first children’s book, "The Gift of Nothing," quickly became a New York Times bestseller. In 2007, McDonnell again returned to the New York Times bestseller list with "Hug Time," featuring a kitten named Jules, who goes around the world hugging endangered species. "South," was released in the fall of 2008 and "Wag!," was published a year later.  The critically acclaimed "Me … Jane," centered on the childhood of world-renowned primatologist Jane Goodall, was published in Spring 2011.

McDonnell was involved in character design for the Pixar animated film "Up".  His drawings for the film were reproduced in "The Art of Up."

McDonnell is involved with many animal and environmental charities, and is a member of the Board of Directors for both The Humane Society of the United States and the Fund for Animals. His characters have been enlisted by the United States Marines, 2006 Toys for Tots holiday poster, the American Library Association, 2007 ‘Read!’ poster, and by the HSUS humane postage stamps. He has created animated Mutts PSAs for The Ad Council promoting shelter pet adoption. The Mutts characters appear on the New Jersey Animal Friendly license plates which fund state pet population programs.

McDonnell’s website, muttscomics.com, promotes his animal and earth-friendly philosophy. Consistent with McDonnell’s concern for the environment, all of the Mutts books are printed on recycled paper. He and his wife, Karen O’Connell, are vegetarians and happily reside with their formerly feral cat MeeMow, feral feline Not Ootie, and new best friend, Amelie.

Earl, the dog
Earl, the dog

Based on Patrick’s late Jack Russell Terrier, Earl is a small mutt with a big heart, who cheerfully tugs at the leash on the walk of life. Earl is Mooch’s innocent friend, as well as a witness to Mooch’s antics and sometimes reluctant participant. He loves ‘his Ozzie.’

Mooch, the cat
Mooch, the cat

Earl's feline pal, the kitty with a fuzzy way of thinking and exclaiming "Yesh!" when really excited. Mooch's guardians are Frank and Millie. Lively, animated, confident, silly. A smorgasbord of emotions. Dances with enthusiasm and sings a lot. Mooch is the curious instigator of action, while the ever-loyal Earl often gets pulled into the fray.

Ozzie, the Man

Earl's guardian and best friend. "He's the guy who feeds me, gives me treats, rubs my belly, and takes me for rides — my Ozzie."

Millie, the Lady

Frank's good-natured wife and Mooch's doting guardian.


The husband of Millie, Mooch's cantankerous caretaker who calls Mooch “the cat.”

Shtinky Puddin' (aka Jules)

The orphan kitty who is the animal advocate of the strip.  Shtinky’s obsession is saving the tiger. He also stars in Hug Time, a New York Times best-selling picture book.

Guard Dog

A tough, tethered dog with a soft heart.  Guard Dog has a mission: to remind people that it’s wrong to chain a dog.


The big, energetic dog who has a lot of wuv and sloppy kisses to give.


The pugnacious proprietor of the Fatty Snax Deli, where Earl and Mooch like to hang out.

Sid, the fish

The bowl-bound goldfish in Frank and Millie’s home.  Sid’s world is very small.


The young girl on the block who befriends all the animals, especially Guard Dog.


 A rough and tough feral alley cat with a heart of gold.  Noodles is a mentor to Shtinky.


The cat who stays under the couch and avoids Mondays.


The world’s crabbiest crustacean who loves to use salty cartoon language. @#$% !

The Squirrels

Bip and Bop are pure nutty mayhem.  They help the unaware passerby achieve enlightenment via the acorn BOP!


The demure housecat, known only by her ears, who is the object of Mooch’s affection.

Chickpea and Chickpea's Brother

 The lovable adopted duo that starred in a Shelter Stories series.

Mussels Marinara

A wise-cracking all-muscle shellfish who is friends with Crabby.

The Shphinx

A prophesying wonder of the world, or Mooch with a kitchen towel on his head.  You decide.

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