Auction of ‘Mutts’ Strip Raising Funds for Gulf Coast Animals

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By: E&P Staff

“Mutts” cartoonist Patrick McDonnell, who previously never offered his original comics for public sale, is auctioning off a Sunday strip to aid Hurricane Katrina relief. All of the selling price will go to The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), which has been rescuing Gulf Coast animals.

The hand-colored comic — from May 2, 2004 — shows a couple who adopted a dog from an animal shelter being congratulated by the two stars of “Mutts.” Earl the dog licks the man’s face and Mooch purrs near the woman. The strip also contains a tribute panel to Charles Schulz’s “Peanuts,” with Earl as Snoopy hugging a Charlie Brown-looking Mooch.

Bidding on eBay started yesterday at $400, and was already up to $4,250 Thursday morning. The auction lasts until Sept. 24.

In a statement, McDonnell said: “The current situation created by the devastation of Katrina is intolerable for the human victims and horribly cruel to the displaced animals. There are estimates that over 50,000 pets were abandoned in New Orleans alone. The HSUS is in the trenches, has rescued over 4,000 animals to date, and is leaving food and clean water for many thousands more, allowing them to survive until they can also be ‘brought home.'”

The King Features Syndicate cartoonist added: “The HSUS is in a good position to not only rescue these pets, but to also work with government and emergency management officials so that, in the future, Americans won’t be forced to choose between staying with their companion animals in disaster-devastated areas, or abandoning their pets to what most certainly would be death by starvation. Katrina has proven what we have known all along — there is a strong human-animal connection and our pets are part of our families. This bond deserves to be honored.”

In related news, the North Shore Animal League America’s “Muttsmobile” — usually used to promote shelter awareness and help find homes for shelter pets — will be traveling to the Gulf Coast to help animals there. The bus-sized vehicle is decorated with drawings of Mooch and Earl.

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