Veterinary Pet Insurance is sponsoring a competition that allows the public to vote online on the insurer’s website on the oddest pet insurance claims.
The winner of the contest obtains the VPI Hambone Award, which will be awarded on September 21, 2011.
The annual award received its name from the scenario presented by its first winner, which was a dog that had been trapped inside a refrigerator and who ate a full Thanksgiving ham twhile it was there. Other past winners of the VIP Hambone Award have included a Labrador Retriever that consumed a beehive, and Lulu, the bulldog, that ingested a bottle cap, part of a basketball, and 15 pacifiers.
This year, some of the top contenders include Harvey, a pug dog that consumed approximately 100 rocks and then had to expel them all through the digestive tract with his waste, Chico the Chihuahua, who was snatched by a passing owl which attempted to fly away with the little dog, and a cat that chased a housefly onto a hot wood stove.
All 12 of the finalists in this year’s competition survived their injuries.
Lori Laverdiere, the owner of Harley the pug, claimed on the VPI website that she took him to the vet when she noticed that he was passing rocks. She explained that she didn’t know exactly how many rocks he had consumed “until I saw the X-ray. We’re not talking about one or two rocks. Harley’s stomach was half full and his intestines were jampacked.” Fortunately, they were only small rocks and Harvey was capable of expelling them without surgery.