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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, 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. 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 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]

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

External links[edit]

Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/McGruff_the_Crime_Dog — Please support Wikipedia.
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16719 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 third generation of children to receive...

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 officer at his school and Officer Boxer...


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 NOT Jenny's dad." The way he said...

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 proprietary rights over the gorge...

McGruff the Crime Dog PSA (1994)

This was recorded off Nickelodeon on November 27, 1994.

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, such as dressing up like movers...

80s Commercials - McGruff the Crime Dog

Take a bite out of crime and teen assult Please Note: Due to the age of the VHS tape this was ripped from, audio and video quality may not be the best.


Here is a hilarious McGruff PSA featuring a three minute segment with Drew Barrymore. Ironically, at the time this video came out, Drew was heavily into drugs. You will also see a very tiny...

Youth Firearm and Gun Safety

This video is made for children in grades K through 6. Titled: "McGruff the Crime Dog on Gun Safety" it covers what children should do if the come in contact with a firearm. This video was...

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...".* The Young turks host Cenk Uygur...

16719 videos foundNext > 

989 news items

New York Post

New York Post
Mon, 06 Apr 2015 19:42:49 -0700

McGruff the Crime Dog has taken a bite out of the NYPD's budget: The department has dropped more than $13,500 on eight McGruff costumes in just one of several unusual purchases in recent years. The life-size costumes of McGruff, a cartoon character ...
Virtual Press Office (press release)
Wed, 15 Apr 2015 14:45:00 -0700

WASHINGTON, April 15, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- McGruff the Crime Dog, icon of the National Crime Prevention Council (NCPC), and the FINRA Investor Education Foundation partner to help consumers stay financially secure during tax season. According to ...

Pensacola News Journal

Pensacola News Journal
Thu, 16 Apr 2015 08:33:45 -0700

... of Florida's Healthiest Weight Campaign and features more than 20 booths with health and nutrition information for adults and activities for children, including face painting, prizes, and appearances by local characters such as McGruff the Crime ...
Wed, 15 Apr 2015 22:03:45 -0700

Children can participate in hands-on art projects and demonstrations, meet mascots such as Sparky the Dalmation and McGruff the Crime Dog and play games or pet animals. Musical entertainment will be provided. Earth Day was first held in the United ...

Naples Daily News

Naples Daily News
Thu, 16 Apr 2015 11:22:30 -0700

They will be joined by “McGruff the Crime Dog” and personnel from Marco's police and fire departments, who will dispense water and bicycle helmet safety tips for children and also check the helmets to ensure they are safe and fit properly. There will ...


Wed, 08 Apr 2015 16:06:36 -0700

Local dog trainers, McGruff the Crime Dog and the police department's K-9 officers will also be in attendance. The police department's Bike Rodeo will also be held this year during the dog walker watch. Parents are encouraged to bring their children's ...

Waterloo Cedar Falls Courier

Waterloo Cedar Falls Courier
Thu, 02 Apr 2015 20:01:18 -0700

INDEPENDENCE | The Buchanan County Sheriff's Office DARE program, set for 9:30 a.m. April 9, will feature Steven Parker, national voice for McGruff the Crime Dog and magician, as the speaker. Parker resides in rural Burlington and has been performing ...

Cherry Hill Courier Post

Cherry Hill Courier Post
Fri, 10 Apr 2015 14:22:30 -0700

The gathering will offer dogs for adoption from local rescue sites, as well as information from dog trainers and appearances by the department's K9 units and McGruff the Crime Dog. The park on Chews Landing Road also will host a children's bike rodeo ...

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