Pet insurer giving award for oddest claim

Sept. 8, 2011 at 4:00 AM

BREA, Calif., Sept. 8 (UPI) -- A California pet health insurance company said finalists for the strangest claim of the year award include a dog that swallowed 100 rocks.

Veterinary Pet Insurance Co. of Brea said finalists for the VPI Hambone Award, given each year for the most unusual pet health-insurance claim, include Harley, a pug that ate 100 rocks while boarding at a veterinarian's office, and Chico, a Chihuahua that sustained injuries when it was lifted off the ground by a great horned owl.

Other finalists include a cat named Eddy that landed on a hot wood stove while chasing a fly and a toy poodle named Howie that needed more than 15 visits to the veterinarian to remove an acorn from its windpipe.

VPI said all of the animals made full recoveries and visitors to VPIHamboneAward.com can vote on the finalists through Sept. 20.

The company, which insures more than 485,000 pets in the United States, said the award was named after Hambone, a dog that ate an entire Thanksgiving ham while trapped in a refrigerator.

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