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McGruff the Crime Dog
McGruff the Crime Dog
First appearance July 1980
Created by Saatchi & Saatchi through the Ad Council
Species Dog
Gender Male

McGruff the Crime Dog is an anthropomorphic cartoon bloodhound created by Saatchi & Saatchi through the Ad Council for the National Crime Prevention Council for use by American police in building crime awareness among children. He debuted from Dancer Fitzgerald Sample in July 1980.[1] The character himself was created by copywriter Sherry Nemmers and art director Ray Krivascy. Nemmers and Krivascy reported to creative director Jack Keil, who wrote the motto "Take a Bite out of Crime". Keil, a native of Rochester, New York, also did McGruff's voice for many years. After two years on the air, a nationwide contest was opened to name the character. The most common entry was "Sherlock Bones." Other entries included "J. Edgar Dog," "Sarg-dog," and "Keystone cop Dog." The winner, McGruff the Crime Dog, was submitted by a New Orleans police officer. In some of McGruff's advertisements, he appears with his nephew "Scruff".

McGruff reaches kids through commercials, songs, educational videos and booklet from the National Crime Prevention Council, talking about drugs, bullying, safety and the importance of staying in school. Recently, McGruff has appeared in commercials addressing identity theft. The character is often used with his motto "Take a bite out of crime!" He also reaches kids through personal appearances as both puppets (often used in classrooms) and costumes worn by police officers nationwide. In a 1990 commercial, Ralph Edwards appeared to honor McGruff's 10th anniversary with a This Is Your Life themed ad.

In 2005, a new identity theft warning campaign was launched in honor of his 25th birthday.[2]

McGruff Houses and trucks[edit]

A McGruff House is a designated house bearing a McGruff logo indicating that it is a safe refuge for children who feel they are in danger. The first McGruff House was opened in Utah in 1982, and there are currently about 700 McGruff House programs throughout the United States. The program is similar to one in the 1970s in which a picture of a red hand was placed in the window of neighborhood houses that provided refuge.

Similarly, there is a program whereby public utility and government work trucks can display a decal identifying the occupant as someone who can be approached if a child feels that they are in danger, or lost, or otherwise distraught.

In popular culture[edit]

The season 9 Futurama episode The Butterjunk Effect contains a scene in which while the characters are on Kif's home planet, their parents want them sleeping in separate beds. Fry replies with "But McGruff the Crime Dog says" and then Leela suggests otherwise, which causes Fry to accept the decision.

The third season of Small Town Security featured the McGruff character in an effort to help the JJK Security team drum up business, resulting in a child safety outreach program.[3]

The song Ultimate Showdown of Ultimate Destiny by Lemon Demon features the line "like Scruff McGruff took a bite out of crime" referencing the character.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "McGruff Timeline". National Crime Prevention Council. Archived from the original on 2006-10-05. Retrieved 2006-10-12. 
  2. ^ On the Internet, Nobody Knows You're a Crime Dog June 27, 2005
  3. ^ Small Town Security Episode: "Watch Dogs"

External links[edit]

Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/McGruff_the_Crime_Dog — Please support Wikipedia.
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19145 videos foundNext > 

McGruff the Crime Dog in Samantha's Choice

This five-minute video follows the story of a young girl who is afraid to go to ballet class, for fear of being bullied. This new animated short marks the th...


This commercial used to give me the creeps... I wanted to scream, "Run, Jenny, RUN!" Don't stop and look in the car! I mean, "This is Jenny... but this is NO...

When the Going Gets Scruff (official full-length video)

This short video follows the story of McGruff the Crime Dog's nephew, Scruff, who is being bullied at school. McGruff advises Scruff to speak with the office...

McGruff the Crime Dog Arrested for Pot, Rocket Launcher

"John Morales, an actor who has portrayed McGruff the Crime Dog, was sentenced last week to sixteen years in prison for multiple drug and weapons charges..."...

MARIJUANA by McGruff The Crime Dog

DATA TOO SHORT digitally transferred and uploaded this audio cassette to our youtube account. We do not claim ownership over the copyright nor do we maintain...

McGruff The Crime Dog - "The Gilstraps" (PSA, 1981)

Here's another public service announcement from McGruff the Crime Dog - "The Gilstraps" - making sure you're aware of some of the scams that thieves can pull...

Full-length McGruff the Crime Dog Commercial (1981)

Featuring the immortal line: "BIKE THEFT."

McGruff the Crime Dog PSA (1994)

This was recorded off Nickelodeon on November 27, 1994.

McGruff the Crime Dog in "Samantha's Choice"

Music and Sound Design by Endless Noise.

Kid Safety Tips

Learn about Stranger Awareness, the Buddy System, Secret Password, and Gun Safety from McGruff the Crime Dog, Eddie Eagle, and Lisa Henley with the Crime Pre...

19145 videos foundNext > 

357 news items

The Flint Journal
Thu, 07 Aug 2014 18:52:30 -0700

Watch Flint's top cop, McGruff the Crime Dog lead crowd in Cupid Shuffle Flint Police Chief James Tolbert and McGruff the Crime Dog lead the crowd in the Cupid Shuffle during the National Night Out event on Tuesday, Aug. 5. Video courtesy of the Flint ...

WRTV Indianapolis

WRTV Indianapolis
Tue, 05 Aug 2014 18:25:14 -0700

INDIANAPOLIS - McGruff the Crime Dog is back in Indianapolis as part of an effort to keep the city's children safe. In emergencies, officials with the Fraternal Order of Police said a child's first interaction with an officer sometimes takes place ...
Wed, 06 Aug 2014 11:00:00 -0700

(UNDATED) - Kids around the country are getting ready to go back to school and their safety is always top priority for parents. Back to School is the perfect time for AlertID and the National Crime Prevention Council (home to McGruff the Crime Dog) to ...

Dothan First

Dothan First
Wed, 06 Aug 2014 15:30:00 -0700

Back to School is the perfect time for AlertID and the National Crime Prevention Council (home to McGruff the Crime Dog®) to share an important new app and 7 simple tips to get the school year off to a great and safe start. AlertID has partnered with ...
Niagara Frontier Publications
Thu, 07 Aug 2014 07:48:45 -0700

Kids around the country are getting ready to go back to school, and their safety is always top priority for parents. As such, AlertID and the National Crime Prevention Council (home to McGruff the Crime Dog) are sharing a new app and seven simple tips ...
Lost Coast Outpost
Wed, 30 Jul 2014 15:30:00 -0700

... by encouraging neighborhoods to engage in stronger relationships with each other and with their local law enforcement partners. Many other agencies are scheduled to be there. Check out an EPD patrol car and meet McGruff the Crime Dog. See you there!
Bowling Green Daily News
Fri, 15 Aug 2014 23:00:00 -0700

Ronnie Ward, public information officer for the Bowling Green Police Department, helps McGruff the Crime Dog as he deplanes during a press conference, Friday, Aug. 15, 2014, at the Bowling Green-Warren County Regional Airport. (Miranda Pederson/Daily ...

KSAT San Antonio

KSAT San Antonio
Wed, 20 Aug 2014 14:45:00 -0700

During a news conference in the downtown building's ballroom Monday morning, a representative of Granada Homes received a check for more than $600, as the anti-crime mascot McGruff the Crime Dog and residents looked on. Jan Pendley with Granada ...

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