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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 7 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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19142 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...

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...

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..."...

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...


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.

McGruff the Crime Dog PSA (1994)

This was recorded off Nickelodeon on November 27, 1994.


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...

Full-length McGruff the Crime Dog Commercial (1981)

Featuring the immortal line: "BIKE THEFT."

19142 videos foundNext > 

59 news items

Dallas Morning News
Fri, 19 Sep 2014 21:07:30 -0700

Tricycle-riding robots, McGruff the Crime Dog, bands, cops, police chiefs, superheroes, performers and City Council members all mosey around the inside of high school gyms and rec centers across the city a few times every year. Saturday's event, which ...
The Register-Guard
Fri, 19 Sep 2014 16:48:45 -0700

20, 230 Fourth St., Springfield. Visitors may take a tour of the building, visit with police officers and watch K-9 demonstrations. McGruff the Crime Dog will be present for kids. Admission is free; ci.springfield.or.us. Three Rivers Casino continues ...
Contra Costa Times
Fri, 19 Sep 2014 10:26:15 -0700

... safety resources, demonstrations, children's activities and more at the free event. Vehicle extrication and bomb squad demonstrations will be held at 1 p.m., tours of the fire safety trailer will be given every 30 minutes and McGruff the Crime Dog ...
The Island Now
Thu, 18 Sep 2014 21:52:30 -0700

The County Seat Kiwanis and Mineola Bicycle Fitness & Mower will sponsor the sixth annual Bicycle Safety Day in the parking lot behind Mineola Bicycle at 475 Jericho Turnpike in Mineola this Sunday. The event, from noon to 3 p.m., will provide those ...

Portland Tribune

Portland Tribune
Tue, 16 Sep 2014 13:48:45 -0700

In addition, kids can meet McGruff the Crime Dog, have their fingerprints taken by the members of the Forensics Evidence Division, and see how the Explosive Disposal Unit's robot works. Visitors can also participate in the Bureau's obstacle course and ...
Inland Valley Daily Bulletin
Thu, 18 Sep 2014 14:45:00 -0700

There will also be special appearances by McGruff the Crime Dog, Eddie Eagle, Fontana Mobile Recreation and other local community programs. Information: 909-350-7758, www.fontana.org. The Vintage Flea, a flea market to benefit Claremont Heritage ...
The Times and Democrat
Wed, 03 Sep 2014 18:19:50 -0700

James Green, Deputy Ashley Frazier, McGruff the Crime Dog, Sheriff Leroy Ravenell (blocked from view), Victim's Advocate Director Chandra McPherson and Capt. Lecra Jenkins. Ravenell challenged the officers during his ice bucket plunge. Since July 29 ...

Macon Telegraph (blog)

Macon Telegraph (blog)
Fri, 19 Sep 2014 13:16:34 -0700

After telling fellow deputies that he'd worn the Mary Persons High School bulldog mascot uniform, they drafted him to don a different mascot's costume -- McGruff, the crime dog. Even though the costume was hot, Norris didn't complain. “He was eager to ...

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