Cast Your Vote for the 2011 'Hambone Award'!

September 6, 2011 | By Zootoo Pet News Staff | Category: Entertainment | 1 comment
Tags: entertainment, strange but true, contests & sweepstakes

Polls are now open for Veterinary Pet Insurance's "Most Unusual Claim" competition.

From fending off Great Horned Owls to eating more than 100 rocks (and recovering!), the nominees of the 2011 Hambone Award certainly traveled perilous paths on the road to glory. And now the public can help determine which of the twelve nominees in Veterinary Pet Insurance's "Most Unusual Claim of the Year" contest will take home the coveted prize.

For the third consecutive year, Veterinary Pet Insurance Co. (VPI), the nation's oldest and largest provider of pet health insurance, has narrowed down a host of remarkable medical claims to a list of finalists. Voting opened this week, and will continue through Sept. 20, 2011, at

Named originally after a dog that ate an entire Thanksgiving ham while stuck in a refrigerator, the VPI Hambone Award has since been presented for two equally unusual claims. Past winners include Ellie, a Labrador retriever who gobbled up an entire beehive and its thousands of inhabitants, and Lulu, a hungry bulldog who swallowed 15 baby pacifiers, a bottle cap and piece of a basketball.

Following are just a few of the 12 unusual claims nominated for the 2011 Hambone Award. All nominated pets made full recoveries and received insurance reimbursements for eligible treatment expenses. For a more detailed account of each claim, photos of the nominees or to place a vote for the VPI Hambone Award, visit

Harley the Pug (Manville, R.I.) -- Harley's eyes may have been bigger than his stomach, but not much bigger than the 100 rocks he ingested while his owner was away.

Chico the Chihuahua (Crystal Lake, Ill.) -- This 4-pound Chihuahua found himself caught in the middle when a Great Horned Owl challenged his owner to a game of tug of war using Chico's leash.

Sadie the Golden Retriever (St. Petersburg, Fla.) -- A casual stroll through the neighborhood proved "otter" than most when Sadie was surprised (and bitten) by a feisty river-dweller.

Harley the Dachshund (Ventura, Calif.) -- Snack time in the sunshine was no picnic for Harley when a stubborn seagull swooped in to steal his meal and wreak havoc.

"Each year, the VPI Hambone Award helps educate pet owners about the importance of preparing for the unexpected," said Dr. Carol McConnell, vice president and chief veterinary medical officer for VPI. "It's rare that a dog's overzealous trash digging results in a tin can stuck on her face, or that a dog becomes ill from drinking too much water, but these things do happen. Sometimes, the best we can do as responsible pet parents is be ready for anything."

Are you planning to vote in this year's Hambone Award contest? Tell us below!

Comments (1)

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4 years ago

What a contest I haven't heard of this one until now!

Good Point | Reply ›

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