Brea, Calif. (Dec. 18, 2013) – With the anticipation of a tasty family dinner later that evening, John Young of Rocklin, Calif., spent the day marinating nearly five pounds of London broil before placing it alongside a loaf of bread in the middle of his kitchen counter while he picked up his children from softball practice. While John thought the food was out of the reach of Cali, his 5-year-old golden retriever, he returned home a few minutes later to find his pooch had devoured the entire meal.
The London broil led to tummy turmoil for Cali, resulting in a trip to the emergency animal hospital, earning her the title of November’s “Most Unusual Claim of the Month” by Veterinary Pet Insurance Co. (VPI).
"I made a concerted effort to place the dish in the middle of the island in our kitchen, so it would be out of the reach of our little scavenger,” explained John. “When I returned home five minutes later, the first thing I saw was the bread bag on the kitchen floor and Cali laying by the couch with ‘that look’ in her eyes. I thought she had just eaten the bread until I looked at the island and saw the dish sitting on the edge of the counter void of almost five pounds of meat."
Wanting to make sure that she would not become ill, John took Cali to the veterinary hospital where they took X-rays and induced vomiting. After nearly two hours at the hospital, Cali was sent home and put on a strict diet for a couple of days.
"Mr. Young was wise to seek medical attention for Cali," said Carol McConnell, DVM, MBA, vice president and chief veterinary medical officer for VPI. "Sudden changes in diet and extreme overconsumption of rich foods can cause pancreatitis. It’s always important to keep your pet on his regular, veterinary-recommended diet. Double your vigilance during the holidays: That’s when people tend to do more cooking, and a guest in your home might not be as careful to keep their food from your pets. Both of these scenarios create the opportunity for counter-cruisers, like Cali, to take advantage and help themselves!"
John purchased VPI Pet Insurance through his employer, Southwest Airlines, which is one of the more than 3,600 organizations and associations nationwide to offer VPI as a voluntary employee benefit. As a policyholder for just under a year, John was delighted to receive nearly a 98 percent reimbursement for Cali’s London broil ingestion claim.
"One of the main reasons I purchased pet insurance for Cali was because she has a healthy curiosity for getting into things she shouldn’t," explained John. "We have taken extra precautions to ensure we keep harmful items away from her, but I’m glad we have VPI in case we are faced with another unexpected incident."
Cali’s incident was one of more than 80,000 claims received in the month of November by VPI, the nation’s first and largest provider of pet health insurance, and was selected by VPI employees as the most unusual of the bunch. Honorable mentions in November included a cairn terrier who was hit by a dune buggy, a mixed-breed pooch who swallowed an acorn, and a Labrador retriever who suffered broken bones when his paws got stuck in a coyote trap. All pets considered for the award made full recoveries and received insurance reimbursements for eligible expenses.
As the most unusual claim submitted in November, Cali will be in the running for the 2014 VPI Hambone Award. Other nominees include Pierre the French bulldog who took an unplanned dip in the swimming pool at a Fourth of July party, Heidi Elizabeth the American cocker spaniel who survived a two-story plunge out of her owner’s home, and Roxy the German shepherd who crashed into and shattered a sliding glass door.
Digital images of Cali are available upon request. Send requests to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The VPI Hambone Award is named in honor of a VPI-insured dog that got stuck in a refrigerator and ate an entire Thanksgiving ham while waiting for someone to rescue him. The dog was eventually found, with a licked-clean ham bone and a mild case of hypothermia. This quirky title was first awarded in 2009 to Lulu, a hungry English bulldog who swallowed 15 baby pacifiers, a bottle cap and a piece of a basketball. The VPI Hambone Award and these unusual pet insurance claims have since helped educate the public about the unexpected mishaps that can affect household pets. Stories and pictures of the VPI Hambone Award nominees are available at VPIHamboneAward.com.
With more than 500,000 pets insured nationwide, Veterinary Pet Insurance Co./DVM Insurance Agency (VPI) is a member of the Nationwide Insurance family of companies and is the first and largest pet health insurance company in the United States. Since 1982, VPI has helped provide pet owners with peace of mind and is committed to being the trusted choice of America’s pet lovers.
VPI Pet Insurance plans cover dogs, cats, birds and exotic pets for multiple medical problems and conditions relating to accidents, illnesses and injuries. CareGuard® coverage for routine care is available for an additional premium. Medical plans are available in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Additionally, one in three Fortune 500 companies offers VPI Pet Insurance as an employee benefit. Policies are offered and administered by Veterinary Pet Insurance Company in California and DVM Insurance Agency in all other states. Underwritten by Veterinary Pet Insurance Company (CA), Brea, CA, an A.M. Best A rated company (2012); National Casualty Company (all other states), Madison, WI, an A.M. Best A+ rated company (2012). 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.
P.O. Box 2344
Brea, CA 92822-2344