Bizarre pet insurance claims recognized

Nationwide’s Hambone Awards highlight unusual animal accidents

Jasper, a cat from Leander, Tex., who was treated for heat exposure after getting stuck in a dryer’s fluff cycle, is a finalist in this year’s Hambone Awards.

From a cat who narrowly escaped a dryer disaster to a Rottweiler that had to have porcupine quills removed from its snout, the nominees of this year’s Hambone Awards by Nationwide are as peculiar as ever.

Voting is now open for the insurance company’s accolades, which recognize local veterinary practices for the care provided by their staff and provide them additional funds for pets in need.

“Our annual Hambone Award is a great reminder pets can make remarkable recoveries because of the diligence of their owners and the incredible skills of their treating veterinarians,” says Carol McConnell, DVM, MBA, vice president and chief veterinary officer for Nationwide. “These veterinary practices will now have the opportunity to save more animals in need without as much financial concern.”

This year’s finalists are:

  • Tippy, a border collie mix from Arroyo Grande, Calif., who barreled into a steel trailer hitch while playing fetch and injured her snout;
  • Jasper, a cat from Leander, Tex., who was treated for heat exposure after getting stuck in a dryer’s fluff cycle;
  • Frank, a Rottweiler from Keyport, N.J., who sniffed a porcupine and got a snout full of quills;
  • Minnow, a cat from Alpharetta, Ga., who disappeared for 21 days and returned home sick with a broken rib; and
  • Max, a Great Pyrenees from San Marcos, Tex., whose head got too close to a hog trap.

The clinics that treated the finalists will receive a portion of a $30,000 Nationwide-funded award through the Veterinary Care Foundation. The winning practice will be awarded $10,000, the runner-up will receive $7,000, and third place will earn $5,000. The practices in fourth and fifth place will each collect $4,000.

Established in 2009, the awards were named in honor of a dog that once ate an entire Thanksgiving ham. Past winners include Ellie, a Labrador retriever who gobbled up an entire beehive and its thousands of inhabitants; Lulu, a hungry bulldog who swallowed 15 baby pacifiers, a bottle cap, and a piece of a basketball; and Ziva and Zeus, two German shepherds who went missing for 22 days in an abandoned missile silo.

All nominated pets made full recoveries. The winning animal will receive a basket of goodies, courtesy of Nationwide.

To cast your vote, click here.

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