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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, who hails from 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. Officer McGruff's full name is Fred McGruff. In some of McGruff's advertisements, he appears with his nephew Scruff McGruff.

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 was 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 were 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.[citation needed]

In February 2012, the McGruff House program was ended after a 30-year successful run due to lessened need in the era of cell phones and tight budgets.[3]

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.[citation needed]

Arrest of McGruff actor[edit]

In February 2014, John R. Morales, who played McGruff for the Harris County Sheriff's Association in the late 1990s, was sentenced to more than 16 years in federal prison on drugs and weapons charges, including possession of grenade launchers.[4][5][6]

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. ^ McGruff House® and McGruff Truck® Programs Close Feb 18,2015
  4. ^ "Ex-McGruff the Crime Dog player gets prison for pot farm, guns". Fox News. February 7, 2014. 
  5. ^ Laura Stampler (February 6, 2014). "McGruff the Crime Dog Actor Jailed for Pot, Grenade Launchers". Time. 
  6. ^ ""McGruff the Crime Dog" actor gets 16 years in prison". CBS News. February 10, 2014. 

External links[edit]

Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/McGruff_the_Crime_Dog — Please support Wikipedia.
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2318 news items

WLWT Cincinnati

WLWT Cincinnati
Fri, 05 Feb 2016 12:37:30 -0800

BUTLER COUNTY —When Butler County Sheriff Richard Jones found McGruff the Crime Dog dancing at the Sheriff's Office, he didn't stop him -- instead he showed him how to dance the whip and nae nae, and it was all on video. Hip deputy nearly breaks the ...
Waxahachie Daily Light
Sat, 06 Feb 2016 17:18:45 -0800

Children's Crime Prevention Program – Using McGruff the Crime Dog and other characters, this program educates elementary age children regard- ing basic matters relating to crime and safety. Subjects covered include securing your belongings, home ...

Visalia Times-Delta

Visalia Times-Delta
Fri, 05 Feb 2016 08:30:00 -0800

Barnes also plays McGruff the Crime Dog. He will be at COS soon with his wife as his handler. Volunteers in Police Service “provide essential, but non-hazardous police service freeing officers to attend the most critical needs of the community.” For ...

News & Observer

News & Observer
Fri, 05 Feb 2016 13:33:45 -0800

Zebulon police Off. David Wanamaker, right, works a crime scene with Lt. Scott Finch, Chief Tim Hayworth and Capt. Dennis Brannan after PNC Bank in downtown Zebulon, N.C. was robbed the morning of Dec. 16, 2013. Aaron Moody ...
Sun, 01 Nov 2015 09:42:21 -0800

In an ironic twist of fate, the anti-crime mascot McGruff the Crime Dog, who used to warn children of the dangers of drugs and other crimes, has pleaded guilty to felony drug and weapons charges. John Morales, an actor who used to play the “Take a bite ...


Wed, 20 Jan 2016 15:44:48 -0800

The coach they call "Crime Dawg" -- an inspiration from the animated "McGruff the Crime Dog" character -- has been out of the recruiting business for three years due to a stint with the New Orleans Saints, but he's back for an encore. He's the man many ...

New York Daily News

New York Daily News
Tue, 12 Jan 2016 09:16:41 -0800

McGruff the Crime Dog was a cartoon bloodhound created for the National Crime Prevention Council to build crime awareness among children. Fred McGriff was a power-hitting first baseman who played for six teams in 19 years in the majors. Chris Berman ...


Mon, 01 Feb 2016 06:03:45 -0800

Livingston, NJ - The Livingston Police Department announced that it will issue its fourth edition of its municipal law enforcement trading cards. On the front, the cards will feature photos of Livingston police officers performing their duties or ...

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