Each month, Veterinary Pet Insurance employees nominate the most interesting pet health claim. The winner is then considered for the Hambone Award, recognizing the most unusual claim of the year.
This unique award is named in honor of a VPI-insured dog that got stuck in a refrigerator and ate an entire ham while waiting for someone to find him. The dog was found with a licked-clean ham bone and a mild case of hypothermia. A hard act to follow, the May winner involving a Dachshund and a seagull might be a close runner up.
“Harley loves to eat his treats on the patio but we’ve never had a problem with seagulls before,” says winner Robin Baer. “The two got into a fight over food. I could tell Harley was injured. He had blood on his nose and some hair missing from around his neck, but he seemed completely unfazed.”
The Dachshund, who was not about to let a bird take him or his snacks, had a cut below his eye and a wound on his neck, where Baer says the seagull tried to pick him up. After some clean-up and a couple of stitches from the veterinarian, Harley was able to go home.
Harley beat out 80,000 claims received in May including honorable mentions: a West Highland Terrier that ate a large amount of sand at the beach, a Beagle-mix that was stung by a stingray, a Labrador that got a blade of grass stuck in his tonsil, an Airedale Terrier that ran full-speed into a wheelbarrow and a Pug that ate a dirty diaper. Harley will be up for the 2011 Hambone Award, which will be voted on in September.
The public is encouraged to vote online for the most unusual claim of the year. All pets considered for the award have made full recoveries.
Click here for all of the 2011 Hambone nominees and stories.