A great many people in the veterinary community know about our annual Hambone Award, given to one of 12 Nationwide-insured pets after we throw open the voting to the public. (The nominees — one per month — are chosen internally.)
But what many don’t know is that the veterinary practice responsible for saving the winning pet gets a $10,000 grant to use for the care of pets whose owners cannot afford to save them otherwise. If ever there were a reason to jump onto social media and engage your practice’s pet-owners, being one of these nominees would be it. I’d also think it’s a good reason for support from regional VMAs, and other practices in these communities.
The more votes, the more likely pets in your area will be helped in their time of need. If your practice isn’t one of the 2015 Hambone Award finalists, support a practice that is, and encourage your clients to help, too! Last year I had a great time handing out the big check at the Purdue College of Veterinary Medicine, and although I can’t promise my travel schedule and budget will line up, I’d sure love to do this grip-and-grin work again.
Here are the practices behind each of our nominees (with descriptions from our Hambone Award website, where you can vote for your favorite). And remember: All these pets recovered, so they’re all happy endings:
- VCA TLC Animal Hospital (West Hollywood, Calif.): After running a few errands, Courtney Cecil returned home to find her house engulfed in flames and her Shih Tsu, Nikko, trapped inside. Following a daring rescue, both Nikko and Courtney were treated for severe smoke inhalation. (July 2014)
- Hartwood Animal Hospital (Fredericksburg, Va.): Charm the Persian’s mouser mischief took a near tragic turn after the silver-shaded cat ((Woodbridge, Va.) swallowed more than three feet of packaging tape. After medication and laxatives, Charm eventually passed 19 inches of tape and regurgitated the rest. (August 2014)
- Blue Pearl Specialty + Emergency Care For Pets (Seattle, Wash.): Lola the Labrador’s timing couldn’t have been worse when she chewed through an extension cord and suffered from a severe electrical shock on her owners’ wedding day. Lola suffered from pulmonary edema and was treated for fluid in her lungs, but her owners’ were able to get married after Lola was stabilized and the veterinarians’ prescription for them was, “Go get married!” (September 2014)
- Veterinary Medical Center of Long Island (West Islip, N.Y.): Jacques the Yorkshire terrier’s busy New York lifestyle was brought to a halt after the tiny terrier got his paws entangled in an escalator. Jacques suffered from severely lacerated paw pads and required one toe amputation. (October 2014)
- Noah’s Animal Hospital & 24-Hour Emergency Center (Indianapolis, Ind.): Jackie the Manchester terrier mix’s bizarre break-in gave her a huge belly ache after she figured out how to open the family’s junk drawer and ate all of its contents, including a medicine bottle, a bottle of fragrance and a pair of sunglasses. Jackie needed X-rays and laxatives, but eventually was able to pass all the items.
- PETS Referral Center (Berkeley, Calif.): Zimba the Rhodesian Ridgeback’s roughhousing halted his family’s road trip after the dog crashed through a roof top window. Zimba suffered from deep lacerations, but was able to complete the road trip after receiving stitches and medication. (December 2014)
- Bernville Veterinary Clinic (Bernville, Pa.): Bones the Labrador retriever, a hard-driving hunting dog, was impaled by a tree branch. The branch went through Bones’ throat which required surgery for removal and repair. (January 2015)
- Burton Creek Veterinary Clinic ( Tahoe City, Calif.) ): Miles the Catahoula mix survived three days in a blizzard after being separated from his camp and traveling for miles before being found. The dog suffered from dehydration and various lacerations. (February 2015)
- Veterinary Specialty Hospital (San Diego, Calif.): Rocky the miniature Dachshund lived up to his name after he successfully fended off a rattlesnake from making a snack out of his smaller siblings. Rocky’s fight left him with multiple deadly rattlesnake bites, but he was able to pull through and make a full recovery. (March 2015)
- Center for Animal Referral and Emergency Services (CARES) (Langhome, Pa.): Woodrow the French bulldog had quite the identity crisis after he swallowed the name tags right off his collar … while he was still wearing it. Woodrow needed surgery to remove the tags and the tag ring from his stomach. (April 2015)
- Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine (Blacksburg, Va.) Curtis the Boxer’s knack for snacking landed him in serious trouble after he swallowed a barbeque skewer, which disappeared in his body and surfaced more than year later, nearly ending his life. Curtis needed emergency surgery to save his life. (May 2015)
- Dr. Domotor Animal House Veterinary Hospital (Monrovia, Calif.): Sam the Pug will eat whatever he can get his paws on, but he may rethink his diet after he swallowed a bunch of magnets that bonded together inside him and pinched his intestinal tract together. Sam needed emergency surgery and a long rehabilitation program, but he has made a full recovery. (June 2015)
Our team at Nationwide pulls out all the stops to get good publicity for the pets and practices. This morning we loved this segment from Fox59 in Indianapolis. Great job!