Georgia Cat’s Extended Vacation Earns Her the 2019 Hambone Award

Minnow of Alpharetta, Georgia wins the 11th annual Hambone Award after being lost for 21 days.

Minnow, a domestic short-hair cat from Alpharetta, Georgia, is the 2019 winner of the 11th annual Hambone Award®, honoring the most unusual pet insurance claim of the year. Minnow was among five nominees for the Hambone Award after she was missing for 21 days in the woods of Alpharetta. The story of her miraculous return and impressive recovery earned Minnow the winning honor after thousands of votes were cast via a public vote at The Hambone Award is presented by Nationwide, the nation’s first and largest provider of pet health insurance.

Minnow was treated by the veterinary team at Midway Animal Hospital in Alpharetta where they administered life-saving care. For their outstanding work, Midway Animal Hospital will receive a $10,000 Nationwide-funded award through the Veterinary Care Foundation (VCF) to help treat pets in their community whose owners could otherwise not afford treatment. One hundred percent of all donations to the VCF are used to treat pets, with no contributions used for administration, fundraising or overhead.

As the 2019 Hambone Award winner, Minnow will receive the coveted bronze Hambone Award Trophy, as well as a Nationwide gift bag filled with toys, treats and various pet supplies.

Minnow and owner Andrea

Second Place – Max, a Great Pyrenees from San Marcos, Texas. Max got out of the yard and found himself caught in a hog trap.

Third Place – Jasper, a short-hair domestic cat from Leander, Texas. Jasper had a scary ride during the dryer cycle.

Fourth Place – Frank, a Rottweiler from Keyport, New Jersey. When a porcupine appeared, the pup couldn’t help getting a sniff in.

Fifth Place – Tippy a Border Collie Labrador from Arroyo Grande, California. Thrown at just the wrong angle, her game of fetch came to a halt at the trailer hitch.

“The Hambone Award sheds light on the unforeseeable accidents that can occur to our pets at any time,” said Carol McConnell, DVM, MBA and chief veterinary officer for Nationwide. “Minnow’s noteworthy adventure exemplifies the purpose of the Hambone Award and highlights the incredible work veterinary staff do to save our four-legged family members. We are delighted with Minnow’s recovery and honored to present her with the 2019 Hambone Award.”

The 5 nominees were chosen from more than 1.5 million claims received by Nationwide during the past year. All pets considered for the award made full recoveries and received insurance reimbursements for eligible veterinary expenses. Thousands of votes were cast at from Oct. 7 – Oct. 17 to determine the winner.


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