The Hambone Award is an annual award given out by Nationwide Pet Insurance to recognize the most unusual and bizarre pet insurance claim of the year. The award was named after a dog named Hambone, who got his name after he consumed an entire Thanksgiving ham while trapped in a refrigerator.
Each year, Nationwide Pet Insurance reviews thousands of insurance claims submitted by pet owners for various accidents and injuries. They select one claim that stands out as the most unusual or extraordinary, often involving pets finding themselves in unexpected or humorous situations. The purpose of the Hambone Award is to highlight the unexpected mishaps and accidents that can happen to pets and the importance of pet insurance in covering unexpected veterinary expenses.
The award is not only a recognition of the unusual circumstances but also serves as a reminder of the importance of keeping pets safe and having adequate pet insurance coverage to protect them in unexpected situations.
The winners of The Hambone Award
- 2009: Lulu, English bulldog. Over six months, ate 15 pacifiers, a bottle cap, and part of a basketball; discovered after owner noticed a pacifier went missing immediately after being dropped and licked.
- 2010: Ellie, Labrador retriever. Ate beehive left by exterminators; owners noticed dog was vomiting \”hundreds of bees\”.
- 2011 Harley, Pug. Ate rocks, causing bowel obstruction; owner was frightened by bowel movements that were composed mostly of rocks.
- 2012 Peanut, mixed Dachshund / Terrier. Sprayed by skunk and trapped in loose dirt under owner\’s deck; deck was dismantled and owners retrieved dog after spotting one free paw.
- 2013 Winnie, mixed-breed dog Ate 2 lb of frozen onion rings.
- 2014 Charlie, Labrador retriever. Run over by farm equipment towed behind tractor, fracturing spine and damaging kidney, which had to be removed.
- 2015 Curtis, Boxer Ate wooden barbecue skewer; veterinarians initially unable to detect it, but discovered and removed nearly one year later, having been encapsulated in a baseball-sized mass.
- 2016 Kismet, Jack Russell terrier. Stabbed by burglar during violent robbery.
- 2017 Rooster, mixed hound. Impaled by branch during hike.
- 2018 Ziva and Zeus, German shepherds. Escaped from yard and missing for three weeks after being trapped inside abandoned missile silo 200 yd from owners\’ home.
- 2019 Minnow, Domestic shorthair cat. missing for three weeks.
- 2020 Chopper, Boxer. Burst through a window while trying to greet a visitor.
- 2021 Bruin, German shepherd. Broke leg and missing for four days after falling 400 ft into a canyon.
- 2022 Rafa, Siberian cat mix. Trapped in storm drain.
- 2023 Giles, Domestic shorthair. Folded into sofa bed.