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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 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.

McGruff reaches kids through commercials, songs, educational videos and booklets 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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2277 news items


Sun, 01 May 2016 06:10:02 -0700

... meet some adoptable dogs from the Camden County Animal Shelter and other local dog rescues, meet local dog trainers to help with questions about their dog, and meet McGruff the Crime Dog and the Gloucester Township Police Department's K-9 dogs.
Virginia Gazette
Fri, 29 Apr 2016 13:37:30 -0700

Several state and regional officials were joined at the event by a walking peanut from Whitley's Peanut Factory, Frank the Hot dog from Retro's Good Eats, a cow from Chick-fil-A, McGruff the Crime Dog and Sparky the Fire Dog from the city of ...

The Apopka Voice

The Apopka Voice
Fri, 29 Apr 2016 08:37:10 -0700

The Apopka Police Department will contribute $1,500 to Crimeline of Central Florida during Saturday's 2016 Public Safety Day. The donation will help to solve law enforcement cases in the Apopka area through Crimeline's successful system of posting ...

Winona Daily News

Winona Daily News
Fri, 29 Apr 2016 03:38:16 -0700

It will be a fun, relaxed event with local raffle prizes, youth activities, and photos with McGruff the Crime Dog. In addition, the first 200 people will receive a free ice cream cone certificate from McDonald's. If you would like to participate ...


Monett Times
Fri, 29 Apr 2016 11:45:00 -0700

The Monett Police Department will be taking part in the National Prescription Drug Take Back Day, slated to take place from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Saturday at the Monett Police Department, located at 1901 E. Cleveland. Items not accepted include syringes ...

Redshirts Always Die

Redshirts Always Die
Fri, 29 Apr 2016 10:15:00 -0700

Spock reports on how drug use destroyed an alien world in this Star Trek anti drug PSA from 1973. ICYMI: The Language Creation Society has filed an amicus brief in a United States district court that's partially written in Klingon. Spock, Kirk, and ...


Sun, 01 Nov 2015 09:42:21 -0800

In an ironic twist of fate, the anti-crime mascot McGruff the Crime Dog, who used to warn children of the dangers of drugs and other crimes, has pleaded guilty to felony drug and weapons charges. John Morales, an actor who used to play the “Take a bite ...
Chicago Tribune
Thu, 28 Apr 2016 15:20:02 -0700

The annual Elgin Pet Expo is set for 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Hemmens Cultural Center, 45 Symphony Way, Elgin. At this year's event, 31 vendors are scheduled to attend, including boarding providers, groomers, veterinarians, pet supply companies, pet ...

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