2021 Hambone Award Voting open from Nov 1st to Nov 5th

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When pets suffer unexpected or unusual injuries, veterinarians are ready to respond with any means medically necessary from stitches to surgery. For 13 years, Nationwide®, the nation’s largest provider of pet health insurance, has presented the Hambone Award to honor local veterinary practices for the exceptional care they administer during emergency situations.

The Hambone Award, which recognizes the most unusual pet insurance claims, was originally named after a dog who ate an entire Thanksgiving ham while stuck in a refrigerator.
The 2021 Hambone Award finalists are:

Griffin, a scruffy and fluffy mixed-breed dog from Chicago, Illinois undergoes surgery for a recurring cyst only to find a bamboo skewer he ingested weeks ago has punctured his abdominal wall.

Sherlotte, a playful Lab-golden retriever mix out of Andover, Mass, was on her usual daily walk when suddenly she and her owner found themselves struggling to get her out of a sinkhole.

Sophie, a liver colored miniature schnauzer from Kissimmee, Florida, was catapulted from her passenger side seat when she and her owner were run off-road while on a coffee run.

Bruin, a gentle German shepherd rescue of Stevenson Ranch, Calif., made his way up the hillside to only take a 400 ft fall down the canyon side. Bruin was missing for four days before he was found and treated.

All nominated pets have made full recoveries and received reimbursements for eligible veterinary expenses from Nationwide® pet insurance. For a more detailed account of each story, photos of the nominees, and a link to vote Nov. 1st-5th, 2021, visit

“We love seeing a tale with a happy ending over any ‘tail’ that’s unhappy!” said Dr. Jules Benson, Nationwide’s Chief Veterinary Officer. “These stories embody the work we do every day to help make the best of any situation our pets get into.
“We salute the quick response of these responsible pet parents, and the skill of the veterinary teams who treated these animals.”

Finalists for this year’s award were determined following a review of more than two million claims submitted by Nationwide members from 2020-21 from across the company’s database of more than 1,000,000 insured pets.

The winning pet family will receive the coveted Hambone Award trophy and other gifts from Nationwide. The practice that treated the winning pet will receive a $10,000 Nationwide-funded award through the Veterinary Care Foundation, a charity dedicated to helping veterinary practices fund medical care for pets whose owners could not otherwise afford treatment.


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