Creator Patrick McDonnell drew them after spending time in an NYC shelter; they’re both the focus of a new PBS “Shelter Me” episode.
For episode six of PBS’s inspiring Shelter Me series, “Hearts and Paws,” which will debut in May, filmmaker Steven Latham profiled an icon in the dog world, at least for those who enjoy the Sunday funnies: animal advocate Patrick McDonnell, creator of the Mutts comic strip.
He focused on the artist behind his desk as well as New York City’s only public, open-admissions animal shelter, Animal Care Centers of NYC. McDonnell went there because he wanted to feature shelter dogs and cats in his work, and he took a hands-on role with staff, volunteers, and the hundreds of animals in ACC’s care. The experience affected him greatly.
“I realized that Mooch and Earl [Mutts‘ main characters] have such great homes and loving guardians, and I thought about all the dogs and cats who don’t and are just sitting in shelters waiting,” he said in the Shelter Me episode.