Voting is open for Nationwide Insurance's Hambone Award, the prize awarded to the company's most unusual claim of the year. The award, which was named after the first winner—a dog that climbed into a refrigerator and ate an entire Thanksgiving ham—comes with bragging rights for the pet and a $10,000 prize awarded to the veterinary hospital that treated it, according to a Nationwide release. The voting will be open through October 8.
Check out a brief summary of each pet's story below, then read extended versions and vote at HamboneAward.com. All pets nominated made a full recovery and their owners were reimbursed for eligible expenses through their Nationwide pet insurance policy.
Howard, a golden retriever from San Diego, California, swallowed an electronics charger and was treated by Bodhi Animal Hospital in San Diego.
Maddy, a Labrador from Charlotte, North Carolina, found herself in danger after being stung by a stingray during a trip to the beach. She was treated by Cotswald Animal Hospital in Charlotte.
Cheddar the Labrador mix from Fairfield, Connecticut, was hit by a falling chandelier after it was bumped by a family member trying to clear smoke from burning bacon out of the house. Northway Animal Emergency Clinic in Gansevoort, New York, treated Cheddar.
Ginger is a medium-haired cat from Kirkland, Washington. He was attacked by a wild animal while outside, causing him to run up a tree for safety, only to fall out of the tree and break his leg. He was treated by Animal Emergency Hospital of Redmond, Washington.
Zoe, a Maine coon cat from Miami Beach, Florida, nearly lost her life after falling off a fifth-floor balcony, leaving her with three fractured ribs, pulmonary contusions and multiple luxations. Knowles Animal Clinic in Miami, Florida, treated Zoe.
Skye, a German shorthaired pointer from Dublin, Ohio, found herself in trouble after crashing into a net support pole on a tennis court, leaving her with two broken ribs and air around her lungs. She was treated by MedVet in Columbus, Ohio.
Sugar Cookie, a Siberian cat from Mooresville, North Carolina, got overheated after getting stuck in a clothes dryer during the fluff cycle and was treated by Carolina Veterinary Specialists in Huntersville, North Carolina.
Blitzen, a Dachshund from Carle Place, New York, decided to start a remodel of his owner's kitchen, chewing a hole through the drywall and ingesting quite a bit of the material. He was treated by Garden City Veterinary Care in Mineola, New York.
Dottie, an Irish setter from Irwin, Pennsylvania, fell into a heated pond and received an electrical shock (along with her owner) due to a short-circuiting heater. Allegheny Veterinary Emergency Trauma & Specialty in Monroeville, Pennsylvania, treated Dottie.
Ziva and Zeus, German shepherds from Medical Lake, Washington, escaped their backyard and went missing for 22 days, eventually being found down a hole in an abandoned missile silo. They were treated for weight loss, cuts and hot spots, among other signs, at Pet Emergency Clinic in Spokane, Washington.
Bentley, a golden retriever from Belmont, Massachusetts, was in a sticky situation after accidentally hot-gluing his eye shut. BluePearl in Waltham, Massachusetts, was able to remove the glue and determine that no damage had been done to Bentley’s eye.
Colbie, a husky from Redlands, California, knocked over a trash can and ate six pounds of cooked chicken, including the bones, after her owner's refrigerator stopped working and they threw away the delicious-smelling treat. Emergency Pet Hospital of Redlands was able to treat Colbie.