Pennsylvania Dog’s Inconceivable Impalement Earns Him 9th Annual Hambone Award

Rooster, a hound mix from Scranton, Pennsylvania, is the 2017 winner of the 9th annual Hambone Award®, honoring the most unusual pet insurance claim of the year. Rooster was nominated after he was impaled by a large tree branch during a routine hiking trip. The Hambone Award is presented by Nationwide, the nation’s first and largest provider of pet health insurance. After selecting 12 nominees, Nationwide opened a public vote at to decide the winner, where Rooster proved victorious.

Rooster was treated by the veterinary team at Veterinary Referral & Emergency Center in Clarks Summit, Pennsylvania, where they performed a life-saving surgery to remove the tree branch. For their outstanding work, Veterinary Referral & Emergency 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 veterinary care. One hundred percent of all donations to the VCF are used to treat pets, with no contributions used for administration, fundraising or overhead.

Rooster’s Story: Pennsylvania Dog’s Hike Halted by Inconceivable Impalement

As the 2017 Hambone Award winner, Rooster will receive the coveted bronze Hambone Award Trophy, as well as a Nationwide gift bag filled with toys, treats and various pet supplies.

The competition was incredibly close with the following nominees falling short by just a few votes:

Second Place – Butterscotch the Great Pyrenees/Irish setter mix (Minneapolis, Minnesota). A walk in the city left Butterscotch with shocking injuries after he stepped in a puddle that was exposed to a live wire and was electrocuted. (Butterscotch was treated at MedVet Chicago.)

Third Place – Star the Cattle Dog mix (South Bend, Ind.). Star’s daily walks are often interrupted by her clumsiness, but a recent trailside blunder nearly ended in tragedy after she fell into a hidden manhole. (Star was treated at the Parrett Veterinary Clinic in Indiana.)

“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 at Nationwide. “Rooster’s improbable injury during such a routine activity exemplifies the purpose of the Hambone Award and highlights the incredible work veterinary staff members do to save our four-legged family members. We are delighted with Rooster’s recovery and honored to present him with the 2017 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 expenses. Thousands of votes were cast at from Sept. 21 – Oct. 4 to determine the winner.


Nationwide® pet insurance

Be the best pet parent you can be.

Start Your Research
Secured By miniOrange