Northern Ontario dog inspires newest plush animal in Ontario SPCA collection

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - Stouffville, ON (December 6, 2016) – A dog named Judy from a remote Northern Ontario community is the inspiration behind the most recent addition to the Ontario SPCA’s Rocky & Friends line of plush animals.

At just three weeks old, Judy was part of a very special journey. In the fall of 2015, the Ontario SPCA partnered with a Northern community 500 kilometres north of Thunder Bay to assist with the re-homing efforts of its community dogs. With a special air transfer partnership between North Star Air Ltd. and the Provincial Animal Transfer Team, comprised of the Thunder Bay & District Humane Society, the North Bay & District Humane Society and Beat the Heat Kenora, over 70 community dogs were transferred to animal centres across Ontario where they found new homes. Also assisting with the transfer was Judy Decicco, a Thunder Bay resident and life-long champion of animal welfare in Canada’s northern communities. The new Judy plush was created to honour Decicco, who received the 2016 SPCA Chair’s Award for her contributions.

Judy and her six siblings were among the dogs that were transferred and were welcomed into a temporary foster home to be nurtured until they were old enough to be adopted. Today the black Shepherd-Labrador mix is a year old and is happy, healthy and loved by the family that adopted her.

Judy joins Rocky, Maddison, Tyson, Velvet and Bear in the Rocky & Friends limited edition collection of plush toys. Each one comes with an adoption certificate and the story of the animal that inspired the toy. They make the perfect pet for those who want to change an animal’s life, but who can’t adopt or are too young for an animal of their own.

“The Rocky & Friends plush animals make a great gift for animal lovers of all ages,” says Judi Cannon, Associate Director, Indigenous Programs & Community Outreach, Ontario SPCA.  “When you give this plush as a gift, you will be helping other dogs like Judy while also reminding that special person in your life how the lives of animals are being changed for the better each and every day.”

To “adopt” the new Judy plush, visit



Melissa Kosowan       
Ontario SPCA


Ontario SPCA and Humane Society:

Protecting animals since 1873, Ontario SPCA is Ontario's Animal Welfare organization. A registered charity comprised of over 50 Communities.

Since 1919, when Ontario's first Animal Welfare legislation was proclaimed, the Ontario SPCA, with the help of its Communities, has been entrusted to maintain and enforce Animal Welfare legislation. The Act provides Ontario SPCA Agents and Inspectors with police powers to do so.

Ontario SPCA provides leadership in animal welfare innovations including introducing high-volume spay/neuter services to Ontario and opening the Provincial Education and Animal Centre.

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