Leap Year “Tails”

Nation’s Largest Provider of Pet Health Insurance Reveals its Leaping List of Perilous Pets

Brea, Calif. (Feb. 27, 2012) – Leap Year hits the calendar once every four years, but our four legged friends aren’t averse to taking a “leap” when we least expect it. As we coronate Leap Year on February 29, Veterinary Pet Insurance Co. (VPI), the nation’s oldest and largest provider of pet health insurance, features perilous pups and courageous cats that took a leap of faith and lived to bark or purr about it.

From a confident kitty in Seattle, to an overzealous Labrador retriever in Florida, the VPI database of more than 485,000 pets reveals several harrowing leaps:

  • Lincoln, a yellow Labrador retriever from Boulder, Colo., is a Frisbee fanatic. While playing Frisbee with his pet parent in an empty lot atop a parking garage, the wind aided disc veered off course, and went sailing off the top of the parking garage – and loyal Lincoln went leaping after it. Within seconds, Lincoln was airborne, about to fall two stories to the ground below. Not knowing what to expect after his freefall, Lincoln’s pet parents found him with a slight limp, but still earnestly in search of his Frisbee. Lincoln was treated by his veterinarian for a soft tissue injury, and has since made a full recovery.
  • Baxter, a curious cat from Seattle, leapt 11 stories from a building ledge after nudging an apartment window open just enough to slip through. Though the feline’s fall led to a broken collarbone and dislocated sternum, the emergency veterinarian was primarily concerned about the fluid surrounding the cat’s heart and lungs. Baxter was hospitalized for four days while doctors closely monitored his condition. He has since returned to his home and has made a complete recovery.
  • Cujo, a Maltese from Chicago, joined his family for a camping trip and went for an unsupervised spin on a play park merry-go-round. As the whirling intensified, Cujo could not hang on and gravity forced his leap to the ground below. Cujo was treated for soft tissue trauma and released to his pet parents to enjoy the rest of their holiday. Did Cujo return to the park playground? Access denied!
  • Shayna, a Labrador retriever from Holiday, Fla., jumped off a sea wall and into a canal, which wasn’t too far-fetched, since this leaping Lab loves the water. However, because it was low tide, Shayna fell onto a bed of sharp oysters leading to treatment for multiple lacerations. Shayna has made a full recovery and enjoys her days leaping into the family swimming pool for a daily dip.
  • Remi, a fox terrier mix from Clearwater, Fla., leapt out the backseat window of a moving vehicle when her leash snapped under the restraint of her pet owner. Remi suffered multiple abrasions to her legs, chest and snout and was also treated for a soft tissue injury. Today, Remi has fully recovered and continues to leap, but only while having fun, as she and her pet parent play Frisbee every evening.

All pets highlighted above made full recoveries and received insurance reimbursements for eligible expenses.

“In 2011, VPI received more than 22,000 claims for soft tissue trauma, the most common injury associated with pets that have fallen or jumped,” said Carol McConnell, DVM, MBA, vice president and chief veterinary medical officer for VPI. “These examples are reminders to pet owners that no matter how closely we monitor our pets, accidents can still happen, so it’s important to always be prepared for the unexpected.”

One final conclusion worth leaping to: among VPI’s database of insured pets, one species reigns supreme as the Leap Year champion – the Sugar Glider, a small gliding possum that leaps and can subsequently glide the length of a football field. VPI is the only pet insurance company in the United States that insures these leaping legends.

Note to editors: Digital images of the pets highlighted above are available upon request. Send requests to afell@petinsurance.com.

About Veterinary Pet Insurance

With more than 485,000 pets insured nationwide, Veterinary Pet Insurance Co./DVM Insurance Agency is the No. 1 veterinarian-recommended pet health insurance company and is a member of the Nationwide Insurance family of companies. Providing pet owners with peace of mind since 1982, the company is committed to being the trusted choice of America’s pet lovers and an advocate of pet health education. VPI Pet Insurance plans cover dogs, cats, birds and exotic pets for multiple medical problems and conditions relating to accidents, illnesses and injuries. Optional CareGuard® coverage is available for routine care (Premier Plan includes dental cleaning benefit).

Medical plans are available in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. More than 2,700 companies nationwide offer VPI Pet Insurance as an employee benefit. Policies are underwritten by Veterinary Pet Insurance Company in California and in all other states by National Casualty Company, an A+15 rated company in Madison, Wisconsin. Pet owners can find VPI Pet Insurance on Facebook or follow @VPI on Twitter. For more information about VPI Pet Insurance, call 800-USA-PETS (800-872-7387) or visit petinsurance.com.

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