‘Rick and Morty’ Co-Creator Justin Roiland Reveals His Dog Jerry Has Cancer

Justin Roiland, co-creator of the hugely-popular Adult Swim animated series Rick and Morty, recently revealed that his beloved dog, Jerry, was diagnosed with a malignant tumor. For fans of the show, this comes as a heartbreaker, as Jerry has served as a major inspiration for several characters on the show

Roiland took to Instagram on Aug. 20 to reveal the news, stating “Little Jerry guy has cancer. For anyone who knows me, you’ll know how destroyed I am. Going to do whatever I can to fight it and make him as comfortable and loved as possible for as long as I can.” Subsequently, fans showed an outpouring of sympathy. Although little is known about the status of Jerry outside of what was shared on Instagram, fans are still hopeful that the dog will be able to recover.

Jerry has been a major influence on ‘Rick and Morty’

Having owned Jerry for 13 years now, Roiland has drawn a ton of inspiration from the dog for his show, Rick and Morty. Jerry’s was the inspiration behind Beth’s husband’s name, as well as the creation of Snowball/Snuffles, who was Morty’s pet dog. 

Although he was first mentioned in the series pilot, Snowball/Snuffles made his on-screen debut in the second episode of the season, “Lawnmower Dog.” Frustrated with Snowball/Snuffles’ not being housebroken, Morty brings Snowball/Snuffles to Rick in hopes of fixing his dog’s problem. Rick creates a helmet that helps Snowball/Snuffles understand humans better, but the helmet drastically increases his intelligence and there are dire consequences.

Snowball—at this point going by Snuffles—teams up with a group of incredibly smart dogs and capture Rick and Morty, keeping them chained up in the backyard. The dogs have their minds set on world domination and refuse to allow either of the two to stand in their way. Luckily, Rick and Morty are able to team up and Rick uses dream-manipulation to convince Snowball/Snuffles that ruling the Earth isn’t the answer, and he departs for another dimension with his gang of canines. 

Snowball/Snuffles had several appearances in photos and flashbacks at later points in the series, most recently in season 6’s “Never Ricking Morty” episode. 

Roiland initially revealed Jerry’s condition just days prior

Just a few days before his most recent post, Roiland initially revealed that Jerry had a tumor in his nose on Aug. 18 via Instagram. In the heartfelt post, Roiland was quoted saying: “This has been such an incredibly hard year. I don’t know why im posting this. I just want him to be okay and to be with me forever but I know that’s not possible. Send positive energy Jerry’s way if you can. Not sure if that works, but I’ll take anything.”

Although it is still too early to know for sure what the fate of Jerry will be, fans are staying positive in hopes of the dog making a full recovery.