Are You in Good Paws?

Insurance covers many members of your family, including the furry ones. The nation’s oldest pet insurance company, Veterinary Pet Insurance, rewards the most daring clients with its annual VPI Hambone Award, celebrating the most unusual claim.

This is not the Darwin Awards. All pets considered for the competition have made full recoveries if not learned their lesson. The 12 most bizarre insurance claims are posted on the VPI website, where readers and pet fanciers vote for their favorite cat-tastrophe or doggie disaster.

This year, dogs dominated the competition. The top three contenders: a West Highland Terrier who bit a running chainsaw; a border collie who leapt through a closed window in order to protect his house from the mailman; and a Jack Russell terrier who wrestled with an Australian predatory lizard.

The top winner, however, was Ellie the Labrador retriever. This California pup proved her insatiable appetite by chowing on a beehive. The gluttonous Ellie, already infamous for eating laptop computer accessories, wooden toys and more, surpassed herself by consuming a sprayed beehive and all of its deceased residents. A combination of pesticides, dead bees and honey sent Ellie’s owners racing to the hospital with a sick puppy.

For her troubles, Ellie and owners Sandra and Robert Coe won a bronze ham-shaped trophy and a gift basket full of treats.

It’s hoped Ellie won’t eat the basket.

Read all the Hambone Award Entries: