A Virginia boxer wins 2020 Hambone Award

dvm360dvm360 January 2021
Volume 52
Issue 1

This spunky pooch, who busted through a window to greet a neighbor, received the 12th annual Hambone Award for the “most unusual pet insurance claim,” presented by Nationwide.

Chopper, winner of the “Most Unusual Pet Insurance Claim of the Year” with her owners.

A spirited boxer named Chopper won the “Most Unusual Pet Insurance Claim of the Year” at the 12th annual Hambone Awards, presented by Nationwide.

This unique award, named after its first recipient, who devoured an entire Thanksgiving ham while stuck in the refrigerator, recognizes the most unusual pet insurance claim of the year, while honoring local veterinary practices that provide care to these pets.

Chopper’s story became a public favorite, beating out 4 other award nominees (see below). The tumultuous boxer bolted through a glass window in a desperate attempt to greet a visitor outside. Unfortunately, she suffered multiple injuries to her paws and tendons, requiring emergency surgery, according to a Nationwide press release. Chopper received care at The Regional Veterinary Referral Center in Springfield, Virginia, and fully recovered within a month.

“Chopper’s unbridled enthusiasm may have landed her in the operating room, but the great work done by the treating veterinary team got her back on her 4 feet quickly,” said Nationwide’s Chief Veterinary Officer Jules Benson, DVM, in the release. “We are happy to present the 2020 Hambone Award to Chopper, and salute all of the veterinary professionals that care for our beloved companions every day, in every way.”

According to the release, The Referral Veterinary Center will receive a $10,000 Nationwide-funded award through the Veterinary Care Foundation (VCF) to help fund care for pets in their community whose owners could otherwise not afford treatment.

The veterinary practice’s that provided care to the 4 finalists below will receive a share of the overall Nationwide-funded award through the VCF:

  • 2nd place: Olive, a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel from San Diego, pursued a squirrel up a 12-foot-tall tree. She lost her footing and fell but survived thanks to emergency care from Blue Sky Veterinary Services.

Olive, a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel from San Diego.

  • 3rd place: Max, a Shih Tzu from Goleta, California, courageously fought against a coyote in his backyard. He received care from the VCA Care Specialty and Emergency Animal Hospital.

Max, a Shih Tzu from Goleta, California.

  • 4th place: Penny, a 16-year-old short-haired tabby cat from La Jolla, California, took a tumble down a two-story balcony and received urgent care from Cote Animal Hospital.

Penny, a 16-year-old short-haired tabby cat from La Jolla, California.

  • 5th place: After enduring a scary mouth-to-mouth collision with another dog during an uproarious play-time encounter, Pistol, an Australian Cattle Dog from Los Angeles, received tentative care from Beverly Hills Small Animal Hospital.

Pistol, an Australian Cattle Dog from Los Angeles.

Finalists for this year’s award were chosen after reviewing more than two million recent claims submitted by Nationwide members. All nominated pets have made full recoveries, and their owners will receive insurance reimbursement for eligible expenses.

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