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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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18329 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...

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 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...

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.

Kid Safety Tips

Learn about Stranger Awareness, the Buddy System, Secret Password, and Gun Safety from McGruff the Crime Dog, Eddie Eagle, and Lisa Henley with the Crime Pre...

18329 videos foundNext > 

177 news items

The Flint Journal
Thu, 07 Aug 2014 18:52:30 -0700

Watch Flint's top cop, McGruff the Crime Dog lead crowd in Cupid Shuffle Flint Police Chief James Tolbert and McGruff the Crime Dog lead the crowd in the Cupid Shuffle during the National Night Out event on Tuesday, Aug. 5. Video courtesy of the Flint ...
Wed, 06 Aug 2014 11:00:00 -0700

(UNDATED) - Kids around the country are getting ready to go back to school and their safety is always top priority for parents. Back to School is the perfect time for AlertID and the National Crime Prevention Council (home to McGruff the Crime Dog) to ...

WRTV Indianapolis

WRTV Indianapolis
Tue, 05 Aug 2014 18:25:14 -0700

INDIANAPOLIS - McGruff the Crime Dog is back in Indianapolis as part of an effort to keep the city's children safe. In emergencies, officials with the Fraternal Order of Police said a child's first interaction with an officer sometimes takes place ...
Niagara Frontier Publications
Thu, 07 Aug 2014 07:48:45 -0700

Kids around the country are getting ready to go back to school, and their safety is always top priority for parents. As such, AlertID and the National Crime Prevention Council (home to McGruff the Crime Dog) are sharing a new app and seven simple tips ...

Dothan First

Dothan First
Wed, 06 Aug 2014 15:30:00 -0700

For more than 30 years, our symbol of safety, McGruff the Crime Dog, has delivered easy-to-use crime prevention tips that protect what matters most—you, your family, and your community. Since 1982, NCPC has continuously provided the American public ...
Fri, 15 Aug 2014 16:03:45 -0700

"Law enforcement agencies from abroad were represented here today. McGruff is out! He is ready to make appearances and visits. He will be teaching children about crime prevention and all of those things in our community,” said Rob Barnett, Airport ...

Brooklyn Daily Eagle

Salisbury Post
Sun, 03 Aug 2014 21:38:32 -0700

There will be a visit from McGruff the Crime Dog as well as Salisbury Police leadership team and patrol officers. • Brooklyn South Square, corner of East Bank and South Shaver streets, 6 p.m.-7:30 p.m.. Organizers will have chilled watermelon, cake and ...
Thu, 28 Aug 2014 13:26:15 -0700

Let me start by thanking the many readers who have called our office asking for literature about bullying and cyber-bullying so they can be better-educated about the issue. I hope these materials will help parents who may find themselves in this situation.

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