Your Pet Ate What? Meet The Top Contenders For the Hambone Award


Pets eat the weirdest ( and the most dangerous ) things if given the chance.

To this end,Veterinary Pet Insurance scour their annual insurance claims in order to award the Hambone Award to the pet that has eaten the strangest selection of objects in any given year.

The award is named in honor of a VPI-insured dog that got stuck in a refrigerator and ate an entire Thanksgiving ham while waiting for someone to rescue him. The dog was eventually found, with a licked-clean ham bone and a mild case of hypothermia.

Meet this year’s top contenders:

  • Pierre the French bulldog (Chicago, Ill.). Pierre had too much fun at a Fourth of July party, nearly drowning and swallowing an entire package of cookie dough within a couple hours. Pierre was taken to the veterinarian after collapsing and was treated for shock and excessive gas.
  • Louie the mixed breed (Louisville, Ky.). Louie’s curious appetite got the best of him when he went on an eating rampage and consumed a diaper, a tube of diaper rash cream, a bottle of baby lotion, and a children’s book. Louie was rushed to the hospital and treated for gastric foreign object ingestion.
  • Heidi Elizabeth the cocker spaniel (Cumberland, R.I.). Heidi Elizabeth’s sightseeing efforts proved costly after she fell through a screen and took a two-story plunge. Heidi Elizabeth was examined for internal and external injuries and was treated for soft tissue trauma.
  • Roxy the German shepherd (Gardena, Calif.). Roxy’s rambunctious rough-housing led to some less than playful pain after she ran into and shattered a sliding glass door. The bloodied Roxy was rushed to the hospital and treated for several lacerations.
    Cali the golden retriever (Rocklin, Calif.). Cali’s eyes proved bigger than her stomach after she devoured five pounds of raw marinating meat and an entire loaf of bread. The London broil led to tummy turmoil for Cali and she was taken to the veterinarian to induce vomiting.
  • Henry the Labrador retriever (San Diego, Calif.). Henry’s thrill seeking nature landed him in the hospital after he jumped off a 20 ft. deck and landed on a parked car. The Evel Knievel impersonator underwent X-rays, but only suffered bruising and a broken nail.
    Jack the Jack Russell terrier (Ashburn, Va.). Jack’s small size got him in trouble with the food chain after he was snatched up and carried away by a large Snowy Owl. Jack was rushed to the hospital with severe internal and external injuries, but has made a full recovery.
  • Lewes the cat (Middletown, Del.). Lewes’ curiosity almost got the best of him, when a game of feline fetch went terribly wrong after Lewes ingested a Nerf dart. After refusing to eat and becoming quite ill, Lewes was taken to the emergency animal hospital to have the dart surgically removed from his intestines.
  • Max the dachshund (Laughlintown, Pa.). Max survived a terrible bear scare with the help of his pet parent and her trusty shovel. After being mauled by the bear Max was rushed to the hospital where he recovered from multiple lacerations and puncture wounds.
    Leaf the Parson Russell terrier (New York, N.Y). Leaf’s delightful days of frolicking in the park came to an uncomfortable halt when the pup got a twig stuck deep in her nasal cavity. After showing signs of abnormal breathing, Leaf was taken to the veterinarian where the stick had to be removed using scopes through her nose.
  • Kya the goldendoodle (Las Vegas, Nev.). This playful puppy’s instincts took a terrible turn after an innocent game of tug-of-war led to a mangled muzzle. When a patio chair tipped over on the pup’s snout, She was left with a severely broken jaw and had to be rushed to the emergency hospital to undergo surgery.
    Charlie the Labrador retriever (Indianapolis, Ind.). Charlie is no stranger to heavy equipment being a farm dog, but after a tragedy involving a tractor, Charlie was on the brink of death. After slipping under a tractor disc, Charlie required two life saving surgeries at one of the top veterinary hospitals in the U.S.

“The VPI Hambone Award is a yearly reminder of the unforeseeable situations that can endanger our pets,” said Carol McConnell, DVM, MBA, vice president and chief veterinary medical officer for VPI. “More importantly, these stories show us the importance of taking the necessary precautions and seeking veterinary treatment when an animal shows signs of distress. These pets all made remarkable recoveries because of the quick actions of their pet parents. We are happy to see them all back enjoying their lives.”