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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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17943 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...


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 drug...

McGruff the Crime Dog PSA (1994)

This was recorded off Nickelodeon on November 27, 1994.

Full-length McGruff the Crime Dog Commercial (1981)

Featuring the immortal line: "BIKE THEFT."


Wow, who knew that McGruff could play the piano? I like how they also show some punk rock teenagers in this commercial along with the token cute little kids.

17943 videos foundNext > 

126 news items

Madison County Courier

Madison County Courier
Mon, 21 Jul 2014 11:11:15 -0700

Join us on Wednesday July 23 at 6:30pm for Operation Safe Child ID program & McGruff, the crime dog. All parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles or caregivers, get your child's Operation SAFE child ID card. If you already have one, but moved, have a ...
Wed, 09 Jul 2014 09:03:13 -0700

McGruff The Crime Dog and DARE Officers Visit Camps. The Gloucester Township Police Department Community Relations teamed up with McGruff The Crime Dog to visit local youth. Posted by Giuseppe Ungaro , July 09, 2014 at 11:48 AM. Comment1 0.
Sat, 26 Jul 2014 21:00:45 -0700

Five minutes later, nearly 100 Admiral Heights residents showed up, along with McGruff the Crime Dog, Sgt. Jessica Kirchner and Lt. Brian Antal from the Annapolis Police Department and Engine 38 from the Taylor Avenue Fire Station in Annapolis.
Mon, 28 Jul 2014 06:41:15 -0700

McGruff, the crime dog, will be present for photos. "For the last 30 years, National Night Out has organized community events to showcase the vital importance of citizen involvement and partnerships with law enforcement in keeping families safe from ...
Las Vegas Review-Journal
Mon, 28 Jul 2014 11:32:39 -0700

Activities are set to include fingerprinting for children, a dunk-a-cop game and a meeting with Smokey the Bear and McGruff the Crime Dog. Guests are also scheduled to include SWAT personnel, the Clark County Fire Department and the Metropolitan Police ...
Tue, 22 Jul 2014 17:33:45 -0700

The Aug. 5 event is held to promote partnerships between village officials, police and the community. Posted by Emily Stone (Editor) , July 22, 2014 at 07:10 PM. Comment0 1. More. Repost; Print this page · Email; Flag as inappropriate. Northbrook ...
Charlotte Observer
Sat, 26 Jul 2014 21:52:30 -0700

Mooresville, Stateville and Troutman will be among more than 16,000 communities that will host events as part of the 31-year-old National Night Out campaign on Aug. 5. First known as “America's Night Out Against Crime,” the effort was created by the ...
PR Web (press release)
Tue, 01 Jul 2014 17:56:15 -0700

Today McGruff the Crime Dog is helping to bite crime through a new social media app. The National Crime Prevention Council (NCPC), home to the famous character, and AlertID have launched the McGruff Mobile app on iTunes in honor of McGruff's 34th ...

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