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Nationwide announces 2022 Hambone Award winner
A cat from Seattle rescued from a city drainpipe is this year’s winner
Rafa, a Siberian mix, was crowned the 14th Hambone Award winner. The adventurous cat escaped from his outdoor adventure at home and fell down a 45 feet deep drainpipe filled with cold water. While looking for Rafa, his family heard his meows coming from a sewer grate, resulting in them immediately calling for help.
After calling for help, the fire department, animal rescue, Public Utilities, Roto-rooter, and several neighbors helped plan, dig, and cut into the pipes to try and get to Rafa. Because of the rescue efforts, Rafa was successfully extracted and reunited with his family. He then spent a week in the ICU for severe hypothermia and other complications before making a full recovery.
If we hadn't had insurance, we would have had to consider every single measure and weigh it out," said Susan, one of Rafa’s owners, in an organizational release.1 "In this case, we could just be like 'No, throw the whole kitchen sink at this problem. Do whatever has to be done.'"
According to the release,1 Nationwide held a public vote October 4-17, 2022, to pick the winner from 12 finalists narrowed down from 3.4 million claims submitted by Nationwide over 12 months from across over 1.1 million insured pets. As the grand prize winner, Rafa’s family received a $1,000 gift card and a $1,000 donation gifted to an approved charity in their name, and a trophy.
"The love of animals is one thing that seems to unite us, and that worked to Rafa's benefit," expressed Jules Benson, BVSc, MRCVS, Nationwide's chief veterinary officer.1 "Neighbors, city agencies, private companies – they all came together to get Rafa out of a dangerous situation. And then his veterinary team got him back to health. What a great team effort for a beloved pet!"
Two runners-up were also selected.1 Russel, a mixed breed dog from Granada Hills, California, who cracked several front teeth after running full speed into a concrete patio step on his way to meet a family member, and Rex, a Shih Tzu from Livonia, Michigan, who swallowed a wishbone. Each runner ups family received a $500 gift card and a $500 donation in their name to an approved pet charity that they picked.
Seattle cat rescued from city drainpipe wins Hambone Award for most unusual #petstory. News release. Nationwide. October 19, 2022. Accessed October 19, 2022. https://prnmedia.prnewswire.com/news-releases/seattle-cat-rescued-from-city-drainpipe-wins-hambone-award-for-most-unusual-petstory-301653578.html