German Shepherds survive 21 days trapped in abandoned missile silo earning them 2018 Hambone Award honors

Ziva and Zeus, a pair of German Shepherds from Medical Lake, Washington, are the 2018 winners of the 10th annual Hambone Award®, honoring the most unusual pet insurance claim of the year. Ziva and Zeus were among 12 nominees for the Hambone Award after they were found missing for 21 days in an abandoned missile silo. The story of their life saving rescue and miraculous recovery earned Ziva and Zeus 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.

Ziva and Zeus were treated by the veterinary team at Pet Emergency Clinic and Referral Center in Spokane, where they administered life-saving care. For their outstanding work, the Pet Emergency Clinic and Referral Center 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.

Ziva and Zeus’ Story: German Shepherds Survive 21 Days Trapped in Abandoned Missile Silo

As the 2018 Hambone Award winners, Ziva and Zeus will receive the coveted bronze Hambone Award Trophy, as well as a Nationwide gift bag filled with toys, treats and various pet supplies.

Second Place – Blitzen, a dachshund from Carle Place, New York. Blitzen went on a “foodie” adventure, chewing a hole through the kitchen wall.

Third Place – Dottie, an Irish setter from Irwin, Pennsylvania. Dottie had an electrifying fall into a heated pond that shocked both her and her owner.

Fourth Place – Cheddar, a Labrador mix from Fairfield, Connecticut. When a birthday brunch got smoky, this canine found himself under a falling chandelier.

“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. “Ziva and Zeus’s improbable 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 both Ziva and Zeus’s recovery and honored to present them with the 2018 Hambone Award.”

The 12 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 Sept. 25 – Oct. 8 to determine the winner.


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