A Houston man who once portrayed McGruff the Crime Dog has been sentenced to more than 16 years in prison on drugs and weapons charges.
John R. Morales was sentenced to federal prison last week for charges related to his 2011 arrest.
Police who raided Morales’ residence then seized 1,000 marijuana plants and 9,000 rounds of ammunition for 27 weapons — including a shotgun, pistols, rifles, and a military grenade launcher, according to court documents obtained by NBC.
What does all this prove? If you want mascot who is pure, ethical and beyond reproach, choose a real dog. They are far less likely to get arrested, far less likely to cause a scandal, and far less likely to cave in to temptation, unless they are of the bacon variety.
This wasn’t the first time the choice of a human to play McGruff has come back to bite law enforcement. There was an incident in Phoenix in 1998 when a prison trusty police assigned to play the role removed his head and was recognized by parents in the audience as a convicted child molester.
Morales wore the McGruff costume for the Harris County Sheriff’s Association in the late 1990s. Fox News reported.
The human-like, trench coat-wearing dog was created by the global advertising agency Saatchi & Saatchi through the Ad Council for the National Crime Prevention Council to increase crime awareness among children.
He appeared on television in animated form, and in public appearances he was portrayed by actors wearing the giant dog head and costume.
He urged young people to “take a bite out of crime.”
Morales, after his McGruff gig, was stopped in 2011 by police in Galveston for speeding, and marijuana was detected in his car trunk. Authorities said that, in addition to marijuana plants, they found a clipboard with diagrams of two indoor pot farms in his car.
That led officers to a stash of 1,000 marijuana plants and the weapons.
And who was it that first detected the marijuana in the car? A real police dog.
Posted by John Woestendiek February 10th, 2014 under Muttsblog.
Tags: actor, ad council, anti crime, arrest, awareness, character, costume, crime, crime dog, crime prevention, drugs, embarassment, houston, marijuana, mascot, mcgruff, mcgruff the crime dog, take a bite out of crime, weapons
On April 30, the Postal Service will issue a 44–cent, Animal Rescue: Adopt a Shelter Pet stamp series.
With the 10 stamp designs — five cats and five dogs — the U.S. Postal Service hopes to raise awareness of the need to adopt shelter pets.
The pets depicted on the stamps were photographed by Sally Andersen-Bruce near her home in New Milford, Connecticut. All had been homeless at one time; all but one had been adopted when they were photographed.
The stamps were designed by Derry Noyes of Washington, DC.
In celebration of the new Animal Rescue: Adopt a Shelter Pet stamps, the Postal Service, together with Ellen DeGeneres and her dog food company, Halo: Purely for Pets, will be donating a million meals to animal shelters around the country.
To pre-order the stamps, go here.
Here’s a closer look at the dogs chosen for the stamps:
Teddy, a wired-haired Jack Russell terrier: The owners of Teddy’s mother were surprised when she gave birth to another litter. They couldn’t afford to raise more puppies, so they gave Teddy and his siblings to a shelter.
Today, Teddy lives with a loving family, their other Jack Russell, and a cat.
Trevor, a yellow Lab: Trevor and his litter mates were found abandoned at 8-10 weeks of age at a new home construction site.
They were rescued by Labrador Retriever Rescue of CT, Inc. Trevor was adopted by a couple who are a perfect match for his outgoing personality.
Buddy, a golden retriever: Buddy is a pure-bred golden who was purchased from a pet store. At only eight months old, he had such bad hips that his family gave him to a shelter.
Now, Buddy is flourishing with his family who have improved his health through regular exercise and a good diet.
Bindu Su, an Australian shepherd: Bindi Su’s mother was handed over to a rescue group when her owners found out she was expecting.
Bindu Su was adopted at eight weeks old.
Now she competes in agility events and visits a local nursing home weekly.
Jake, a Boston Terrier: Purchased at a pet shop on Thanksgiving when he was eight weeks old, Jake’s original family quickly realized that they couldn’t take care of him.
The pet shop had a no-return policy, so Jake was turned over to a shelter.
Posted by John Woestendiek March 22nd, 2010 under Muttsblog.
Tags: adopt, animals, australian shepherd, awareness, bindu su, boston terrier, buddy, cats, connecticut, derry noyes, designer, designs, dogs, donating, ellen degeneres, golden retriever, halo, jack russell terrier, jake, meals, million, new milford, news, order, pets, photography, photos, post office, postal service, rescue, rescued, sally andersen-bruce, shelter, shelters, stamps, teddy, ten, trevor, yellow lab
Animal Planet will kick off a new series of investigative specials Monday night with a no-holds-barred look into the underground culture of dogfighting.
“Animal Planet Investigates: Dog Fighting Exposed” will probe the secretive world of organized dogfighting, with rare footage and commentary from law enforcement officers and former dogfighters. The special examines cases across the United States, including Ohio, Texas, Georgia, Michigan and New York.
“By bringing viewers the true and uncensored reality behind dog fighting, we intend to raise public awareness about this cruel and inhumane practice,” says Marjorie Kaplan, president and general manager of Animal Planet.
“The brave men and women working tirelessly to expose and dismantle these fighting rings are using daring tactics and thanks in large part to their efforts we were able to share this powerful story with our viewers in an in-depth and unprecedented way. Some of the images might be tough to take, but it’s vitally important that these stories are told.
The hour-long show is the first in a quarterly series of specials on the network that will investigate animal issues.
It premieres Monday at 10 p.m.
Posted by John Woestendiek January 24th, 2010 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animal planet, animal planet investigates, animals, awareness, culture, dog fighters, dog fighting, dog fighting exposed, dogfighters, dogfighting, dogs, investigation, investigative, monday, organized, pets, pit bulls, rings, series, special, television, tv, underground
Main Line Animal Rescue placed an ad in today’s Washington Post, pledging five bags of dog food to Washington D.C. animal shelters for each time Michael Vick is sacked.
The rescue, located outside of Philadelphia, said the ad is aimed at bringing attention back to the needs of dogs.
Each time the Eagles new backup quarterback is tackled during the Oct. 26 away game against the Washington Redskins, five bags of dog food will be donated to a D.C. animal shelter.
It also encourages people to volunteer at a shelter on game day.
Vick served 18 months in prison for funding a dog-fighting operation. The Eagles, in signing Vick to a two-year deal, said he’d served his time and deserved a second chance.
“I think we’re all getting tired of the ‘Does he deserve a second chance?’ kind of thing,” said Bill Smith, founder and CEO of the shelter, which is near Valley Forge. “… Maybe it’s about time that the million pit bulls euthanized every year got their second chance.”
“It’s such a misunderstood breed. … They’re great dogs,” Smith told the Philadelphia Inquirer, adding that the stigma pit bulls carry is ”because of people like Michael Vick.”
The ad’s aim is to bring attention back to the needs of dogs, he said. “I think we just need to raise public awareness and this is a good way to do that.”
The ad may run in other cities where the Eagles play, including San Diego, Chicago and New York, he said.
Smith said that if Vick had “any sense of humor at all,” and really wanted to help dogs, he could stand on the field before the Oct. 26 game and let players tackle him, so even more dogs will get fed.
Given Vicks public statements that he wants to help the dogs he once tortured and killed, “He should thank us” for the opportunity, Smith said.
Posted by John Woestendiek September 9th, 2009 under Muttsblog.
Tags: advertisement, awareness, bill smith, dog food, dogfighting, dogs, donation, eagles, football, main line animal rescue, michael vick, philadelphia, pledge, public, redskins, sacks, second chance, shelters, tackles, washington, washington d.c., washington post
A California couple announced the launch of Collars for Cures — proceeds from which go to the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR).
The company offers eye-catching bright green pet collars and t-shirts to raise awareness of and help fund cancer research.
The collars range in price from $5.99 to $11.99 depending on the size, and shipping costs only $1.99 to anywhere in the world. Half of the proceeds go to the AACR.
Chris Nelson, his wife Erica , owners of a great dane named Roxy, came up with the idea after several of Nelson’s friends and family members were affected by cancer, according to a press release.
“Roxy gets attention everywhere we go and I wanted to utilize that attention to help fight cancer,” said Nelson. “Strangers who see Roxy are constantly asking me where they can purchase a collar and I’m excited to offer them online to an international audience.”
The collars are available in five adjustable lengths and can accommodate pets ranging in size from a cat or Chihuahua to a Great Dane. The collars are made from a durable, 100% nylon material with a chrome buckle and an embroidered, white logo.
“We are very excited to have this unique opportunity to bring awareness to the cause,” said Tamika Kim Harding, Corporate Alliances & External Relations Administrative Coordinator for the AACR. “The American Association for Cancer Research is very appreciative of Collars for Cures’ efforts to raise money for cancer research and provide a platform to spotlight our organization as the authoritative source of information about advances in the causes, diagnosis, treatment and prevention of cancer.
Posted by John Woestendiek August 28th, 2009 under Muttsblog.
Tags: aacr, american association for cancer research, awareness, benefit, california, cancer, chris nelson, collars, collars for cures, collarsforcures.com, erica nelson, fundraising, great dane, proceeds, research, roxy, t-shirts
Abdul will be helping Dick Van Patten’s Natural Balance, Petco, and independent pet stores raise awareness and money for guide dog organizations across the country, according to Dogchannel.com.
Her role involves getting the word out to the public about the time and effort that goes into training a potential guide dog puppy — an18 to 20 months process, followed by another six months in formal guide dog training school. After about six months of school, the dog gets matched with a blind person. For 28 days, more training takes place at the guide dog facility so the person can learn how to handle their dog.
Learning about the amount of time and money it takes to train these dogs inspired her to join the nonprofit side of raising awareness so that more guide dogs are made available. Abdul said. “I have always been amazed at how it transforms people’s lives.”
Posted by John Woestendiek March 29th, 2009 under Muttsblog.
Tags: american idol, awareness, blind, campaign, celebrities, chihuahuas, dick van patten, guide dogs, natural balance, paula abdul, petco, programs, training