Off and on, insurance companies compile fun lists of some of the most outrageous medical claims that come their way. I remember reading about a woman who insisted she be reimbursed for a haircut after one of her long locks became wedged in between her lover’s two front teeth during an amorous moment. On a dare, another applicant swallowed his cell phone, just to see if he could hear it ring from inside his stomach. I won’t go into the unusual discoveries documented by doctors looking into various orifices of many emergency room patients.
Now that pet insurance has become so popular, animal lovers now have the chance to delight in some of the more colorful claims made on behalf of their pets who have required veterinary care after getting into trouble. Three years ago, Veterinary Pet Insurance Co. (VPI) launched an annual contest calling for the most outrageous insurance claims pet guardians filed on behalf of their mischievous animals. The winner receives the prestigious VPI Hambone Award.
Some of the claims are pretty hairy, like the one involving Sabrina the cat who ingested two needles and started foaming at the mouth. Others are hilarious, like Toby the Spaniel who became so enamored with a round roast bone; he gnawed on it for two months until it became lodged between his front teeth and lower jaw. The vet was able to remove the bone only after anesthetizing Toby and using a hacksaw to saw the bone out of his mouth. And then there’s Darci the Terrier who attacked a chain saw. And Crawford, the spaniel who enjoyed a light meal of gel inserts made for a brassiere.
The 2010 VIP Hambone Award went to Ellie, a Labrador retriever who ate an entire beehive — it wasn’t empty at the time.
I have a cat named Lump. And I have to say, I feel a little cheated that it’s unlikely she’ll ever do anything Hambone Award-worthy. Lump wakes up, walks over to one of her Three Places in the Apartment and lies down. Then she gets up and moves to another one of her Three Places in the Apartment and lies down. Occasionally, she mixes it up to eat and use the litter box. And then she goes over to one of her Three Places in the Apartment and lies down. I suppose I should be grateful that she’d never qualify as a Hambone Award nominee unlike Sandy, the curious Abyssinian who wound up taking a tumble with the delicates in the family clothes dryer.
I’m guessing many of you reading this out there are saying, “Hey, that’s nothing! My dog did…” or “My cat ate…“ or “My bird peed on…” And if you are one of those people saying that, log onto VPIHambomeAward.com and share your story. You can also check out the hijinx and mishaps of past HamBone nominees, blogs and more.
Written By: Amy Abern