NEW YORK, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — A New York cat has won Nationwide’s 15th annual Hambone Award for its unusual pet story, involving getting stuck in a sofa.
The Hambone Award recognizes the most unusual pet insurance claim of the year, and Giles, a New York City cat, has won this year’s award after his parents, Reid and Kaitlyn, filed a pet insurance claim after Giles got inadvertently smooshed under a sofa bed.
Nationwide presents this award yearly to bring awareness to the unique and surprising things that can happen to pets – and how pet insurance plays a role in helping them.
Giles, who was named after a character in the cult-favorite TV show “Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” was adopted from a cat rescue in New York City.
He now lives happily in an NYC apartment with Reid and Kaitlyn, that was until Reid’s family’s overnight visit.
“My stepmom said, ‘Something has happened, and we’re really sorry, but [Giles] got trapped
under the couch.’ When they put the couch away, they didn’t realize that he was under there and
… the mechanism bopped him in the face pretty good.” Reid adds, “Luckily, we have a wonderful
vet hospital just around the corner from us, so we were able to take him right there. Fortunately,
it wasn’t too bad. He did need some stitches … but he was the model patient.”
According to Nationwide, Kaitlyn and Reid decided to invest in pet health insurance after an unexpected event ended up costing the family quite a bit at the veterinary hospital one Christmas Eve.
Fortunately for Kaitlyn, her workplace offered Nationwide pet insurance as a voluntary benefit, so Giles is among Nationwide’s more than 1.2 million protected pets.
“Giles’ predicament shows just how easily an ordinary situation can become precarious for a
pet,” said Dr. Jules Benson, Vice President, Pet Health and Chief Veterinary Officer for
Nationwide. “We’re so glad that the quick actions of Giles’ family and their veterinary care team
set him up for a speedy recovery.”
On Sept. 13, Nationwide hosted about a week-long public vote through Sept. 22 to determine the most unusual story, and two runners-up, from a field of 10 finalists.
The votes made it clear that Giles had the most unusual claim, and he and his pet parents received the coveted Hambone Award trophy, a gift card, and a donation to be made in Giles’ honor to an approved pet charity of the family’s choice.
“The Hambone Award was originally named after a Nationwide-insured dog who got stuck in a refrigerator and ate an entire holiday ham while waiting to be discovered. The dog was eventually found, with a licked-clean ham bone and a mild case of hypothermia,” stated Nationwide.
Other runners-up include a Las Vegas pug named Jax who got heat stroke while cozied up in a
comforter following surgery, and Sunny, an Anaheim Labrador retriever who shimmied his crate five feet across the room to ingest three phone charger cords.
The families of Jax and Sunny each received a gift card and an opportunity for a charity donation to be made in each pet’s name. All nominated pets have also recovered and received reimbursements for eligible veterinary expenses from Nationwide® pet insurance.
To read more about pet health insurance coverage for dogs, cats, and many other kinds of pets, visit Nationwide’s website.