Nationwide pet insurance Hambone Award winner announced

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The thirteenth annual award went to a dog that survived a 400-foot fall and has fully recovered.

Nationwide has announced the winner of the 13th annual Hambone Award, which is given to the animal that brought about the most extraordinary pet insurance claim of the year.

The insurer gave this year’s award to a claim that was filed for the care of Bruin, a German Shephard.

Bruin’s pet insurance claim resulted from the multiple injuries he sustained when he fell 400 feet into a canyon in California. The community searched for the three-year-old German Shephard for four days. He was finally discovered by an off-duty police officer and was taken right away to ACCESS Specialty Animal Hospital in Los Angeles. There, he was diagnosed with and was treated for a collapsed lung, internal bleeding, a broken femur and a shattered leg requiring surgery.

“We’re all about ‘extraordinary care,’ and we’re always proud to recognize that in our country’s veterinary teams,” said Jules Benson, BVSc, MRCVS, the chief veterinary officer at Nationwide. “In Bruin’s case, the entire community showed extraordinary care in finding and helping this dog. I’m so pleased we could be a part of that effort, covering much of the expense through our pet health insurance.”

The insurer awarded $10,000 to ACCESS Specialty Animal Hospital in Los Angeles through the Veterinary Care Foundation (VCF). Those funds are applied toward assisting with animal care when owners are unable to afford veterinary care.

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There were four other finalists for the pet insurance claim Hambone Awards who also received funds.

The three other finalists included Griffin and the treatment he received from Higgins Animal Clinic in Chicago, Sherlotte and the care received from Andover Animal Hospital in Massachusetts, and Sophie and the care received in Winter Haven, Florida from Veterinary Healthcare Associates.

The pet insurance claims showed that Griffin is a mixed breed dog that ingested the entire skewer from a chicken kebab at a Fourth of July barbecue, Sherlotte is a yellow Labrador-golden retriever cross that was submerged in a sinkhole near a utility worksite, causing her to experience injuries over half her body. Sophie is a miniature schnauzer that was thrown from a golf cart when the owner was forced to swerve to avoid an accident. Each dog fully recovered.

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