Cartoonist Patrick McDonnell Gives Animals A Voice
Written by SurfWriter Girls Sunny Magdaug and Patti Kishel
Cartoonist Patrick McDonnell’s popular syndicated comic strip Mutts does more than entertain. It gives a voice to animals and builds public support for protecting them.
Started in 1994 to capture the joyful spirit of McDonnell’s beloved Jack Russell terrier Earl, the comic strip has expanded to include a host of animal and human characters – most notably, Mooch, Earl’s inquisitive cat friend.
McDonnell says he “had hoped the storyline (introducing Mooch) would be good for a few weeks’ worth of jokes. But, Mooch, like every cat I’ve known, walked into my life and took over.”
Mooch and the other Mutts characters have staked a place in SurfWriter Girls Sunny Magdaug and Patti Kishel’s life, too. We are huge Mutts fans and love the comic strip’s heart, good humor and sense of wonder.
As Earl and Mooch explore the world around them, interacting with their human companions, other animals and the characters in the Mutts universe, this gives McDonnell the opportunity to showcase the duo’s friendship and remind readers of the bond we have with the animals in our lives.
It also lets McDonnell shine the light on all the dogs and cats in animal shelters. For the past 20 years the comic strip has devoted two weeks a year to Mutts Shelter Stories about the pets in shelters who need homes.
Since 2000 McDonnell has been a member of the board of directors for the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) and is a strong advocate for the organization’s work.
McDonnell says being on the HSUS board has been “life-changing” for him, giving him an even greater opportunity to help make the world a better place for animals.
One of McDonnell’s cartoons “Sweet Dreams” particularly sums up his wishes for animals – showing their dreams of being free, happy and loved.
Its a dream McDonnell has for all animals and one we all can share.
As Mooch would say to that, “Yesh!”
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