The winner of the 9th annual Hambone Award, which honors the most unusual pet insurance claim of the year, is Rooster, a hound mix from Scranton, Pa. Rooster was nominated after he was impaled by a large tree branch during a routine hiking trip. The Hambone Award is presented by Nationwide pet health insurance company. After selecting 12 nominees, Nationwide opened a public vote at HamboneAward.com to decide the winner, where Rooster proved victorious.
Rooster was treated by the veterinary team at Veterinary Referral & Emergency Center in Clarks Summit, Pa., where staff performed a life-saving surgery to remove the tree branch. For their outstanding work, Veterinary Referral & Emergency Center received a $10,000 Nationwide-funded award through the Veterinary Care Foundation (VCF) to help treat pets in their community whose owners could otherwise not afford veterinary care. One hundred percent of all donations to the VCF are used to treat pets, with no contributions used for administration, fundraising or overhead.
Rooster received the bronze Hambone Award Trophy, as well as a Nationwide gift bag filled with toys, treats, and various pet supplies.
The competition was incredibly close, with other nominees falling short by just a few votes.
Butterscotch the great Pyrenees/Irish setter mix in Minneapolis received shocking injuries during a walk in the city after he stepped in a puddle that was exposed to a live wire and was electrocuted. Butterscotch was treated at MedVet Chicago.
Star the cattle dog mix from South Bend, Ind., fell into a hidden manhole during a daily walk. Star was treated at the Parrett Veterinary Clinic in Indiana.
Seriousness behind the Hambone
“The Hambone Award sheds light on the unforeseeable accidents that can occur to our pets at any time,” said Carol McConnell, DVM, MBA and chief veterinary officer at Nationwide. “Rooster’s improbable injury during such a routine activity exemplifies the purpose of the Hambone Award and highlights the incredible work veterinary staff members do to save our four-legged family members. We are delighted with Rooster’s recovery and honored to present him with the 2017 Hambone Award.”
The 12 nominees were chosen from more than 1.5 million claims received by Nationwide during the past year. All pets considered for the award made full recoveries and received insurance reimbursements for eligible expenses. Thousands of votes were cast at HamboneAward.com from Sept. 21 – Oct. 4 to determine the winner.