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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 primary voice of McGruff is done by actor John R. Morales who ironically is currently serving a 16 year prison sentence.[2] 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.[3]

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. [4]

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. ^ McGruff The Crime Dog Actor Sentenced To 16 Years For Pot, Grenade Launcher June 02, 2015
  3. ^ On the Internet, Nobody Knows You're a Crime Dog June 27, 2005
  4. ^ 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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972 news items

Deming Headlight
Tue, 01 Sep 2015 16:03:45 -0700

Friedman is Deming's McGruff, the Crime Dog — the national mascot for the Crime Stoppers organization. He visits our schools and makes special appearances during local events including the annual Shop With A Cop during the Christmas holiday season ...


Tue, 01 Sep 2015 21:30:53 -0700

The annual event also will include several law enforcement demonstrations, information booths, including for Lowville Academy's Sources of Strength program, and an appearance by McGruff the Crime Dog. Face painting and other activities for children ...

Herald-Mail Media

Herald-Mail Media
Tue, 01 Sep 2015 04:01:50 -0700

As parts of the Southeast braced for more flooding Monday from the aftermath of Tropical Storm Erika, it was a reminder of the dangers September can bring. Whether it's a hurricane, fire or a terrorist attack like Sept. 11, 2001, Washington County ...

Napa Valley Register

Napa Valley Register
Wed, 05 Aug 2015 09:07:30 -0700

Police officers as well as McGruff the Crime Dog visited the Century European party only minutes before the robbery. Community Resource Officer Ryan Woolworth spoke highly of National Night Out, unaware of the crime about to take place a few blocks ...
Roanoke Times
Sun, 30 Aug 2015 21:02:38 -0700

Joshua Leonard loves playing the mascot McGruff the Crime Dog. “We had to teach him not to talk, bark or growl. Joshua would say, 'I'm going to be a policeman when I turn 21.' We all know that's not going to happen, but it's given him a purpose in life ...

Chicago Daily Herald

Chicago Daily Herald
Fri, 28 Aug 2015 07:48:45 -0700

Christopher also posed for a photo with McGruff the Crime Dog, the National Crime Prevention Council's symbol of safety and crime prevention. • Taylor Zelinsky, a guard at the Bartlett Aquatic Center, has been awarded the International Golden Guard ...
Deming Headlight
Sun, 30 Aug 2015 16:03:45 -0700

I went to the duck races on Saturday, and Sunday I attended the duck races with my wife, Betteanne. We were more than attendees because, along with McGruff the Crime Dog, we were there as representatives of Crime Stoppers. We assumed we would help ...

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 ...

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