Cast Your Vote for the 2010 Pet Hambone Award

August 5, 2010 | By Emily Sklar | Category: Entertainment | 16 comments
Tags: strange but true, entertainment, contests & sweepstakes

Jack, a 2010 Hambone Award Nominee (Photo courtesy of VPI)

Final voting is underway for the VPI-sponsored competition, recognizing the oddest insurance claims — and spotlighting responsible pet ownership.

Lovers of pet competitions and professional oddsmakers, mark your calendars! On August 16, Veterinary Pet Insurance – the country’s oldest and largest pet insurance company – will crown the winner of this year’s Hambone Award.

The Hambone, named in honor of a VPI-insured dog that got stuck in a refrigerator and ate an entire Thanksgiving ham while waiting for someone to find him, is given out yearly, and honors the most unusual pet insurance claim of the year.

Competition is stiff. With more than 480,000 pets insured nationwide, VPI receives more than a million claims every year – an average of 80,000 per month – from various unlucky and/or overly spirited dogs, cats, and birds (as well as from some more exotic individuals, like this year’s July nominee, Charlie the tortoise).

Most claims, of course, are for routine matters. But when the claims department comes across a more unusual – and amusing – story, it forwards the claim to the Award committee for review, and from these claims, a monthly finalist is chosen.

The purpose of the Hambones is not to mock the pets involved – or their hapless owners. And all pets considered for the prize have made full recoveries and received insurance reimbursements for eligible expenses. (The dog for whom the competition was named, for instance, was eventually found unharmed, with just a bellyache, a sheepish expression, and a mild case of hypothermia to show for his ordeal.)

Rather, the goal of the Hambone is to highlight the fact that expensive accidents can happen at any time to any pet, and that pet owners should be prepared for treatment costs when the unexpected happens.

Says VPI’s Grant Biniasz, “The message we hope to get across is that responsible pet ownership involves financial planning. All pet owners should have a plan in place for handling unexpected pet expenses, whether that involves a savings account, a credit card dedicated to pet expenses, a pet insurance policy, or some combination of the three.”

Last year’s Hambone Award went to Lulu, a bulldog who snared the title by devouring 15 pacifiers, a bottle cap, and piece of a basketball. As an additional prize, Lulu went on to star in a Rachael Ray Show segment about her ordeal.

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Comments (16)

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4 years ago

One day we had our front door open to let some cool air in cause it was too warm in the house of course we left the screen door shut. This was when Teddy was 10 years old she used to love to sit in the door and look out the screen door. Then when we shut the door we negleceted to check to see where Teddy was later on I was gonna go to bed and I couldn't find her I was so worried finally I remembered the front door being open earlier and I opened it she had been stuck between the door and the screen door right in the middle I was glad I found her. The same thing has happened with Shorty before as well. I am glad my kitties are okay and I thank god that they found the dog before it was too late.

Good Point | Reply ›

Denise L.

Denise L.
5 years ago

All I can say is, oh my GOD!

Good Point | Reply ›

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