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Leader of team that created McGruff the Crime Dog dies

ARLINGTON, TX - AUGUST 4: McGruff the Crime Dog throws out the first pitch before the Toronto Blue Jays game against the Texas Rangers at The Ballpark in Arlington on August 4, 1998 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)

WESTMINSTER, Vt. – The advertising executive who led the team that created McGruff the Crime Dog and who voiced the character has died.

The family of John “Jack” Keil says he died Aug. 25 at home in Westminster West, Vermont. He was 94.

The National Crime Prevention Council says Keil was one of the giants in the advertising industry and shared his talents to support crime prevention.

He was creative director the Dancer Fitzgerald Sample advertising agency when he and his team created the animated dog in a trench coat, with the slogan “Take a Bite Out of Crime.”

The Council says McGruff first appeared in public service announcements in 1980 and is still used today in campaigns in communities around the country to support safety and cime prevention.