Brea, Calif. (Nov. 21, 2013) – On a warm October evening, Ana Fuentes of Gardena, Calif., opted to leave the sliding glass door half open while she cooked dinner with Roxy, her two-year-old German shepherd playing nearby. Suddenly, Roxy heard a noise in the backyard and darted to see where the noise was coming from without realizing the sliding door was not fully opened. Ana heard a large bang and when she looked to see what happened, she found a gaping hole in her sliding door and shards of glass all over the ground.
The glass crash resulted in a trip to the veterinarian where Roxy was treated for several lacerations, earning her the title of October’s “Most Unusual Claim of the Month” by Veterinary Pet Insurance Co. (VPI).
"I was in shock when I saw the glass shards on the ground," explained Ana. "It was late in the evening and dark outside. Seeing the glass on the ground made me fear the worst."
Ana went looking for Roxy and quickly found her hiding in the garage. "She’s a brave dog," said Ana. "At first I thought she had escaped without a scratch. I think she thought she did something wrong or felt ashamed and decided to hide in the garage."
Ana immediately cleaned Roxy’s wounds and took her to the veterinarian where she was treated for several lacerations, including a cut on her head that missed her eye by only centimeters. Roxy also had large cuts on her chest and leg and a few small cuts on her elbows. She was very fortunate that none of her ligaments or muscles were injured by the glass. Roxy underwent surgery to suture all of the lacerations she sustained and was given antibiotics then sent home to recover. She has since made a full recovery and is back to her normal playful self.
"Decals are often recommended to keep birds from flying into glass doors and windows but that probably wouldn’t have prevented this accident,” said Carol McConnell, DVM, MBA, vice president and chief veterinary medical officer for VPI. “I’m impressed that Ana was able to stay calm, provide first aid and get Roxy to the veterinarian. While prevention is always preferable, accidents do happen. That’s why it’s important to know where to take your pet for after-hours emergency care. Ask your veterinarian now, and put the information – phone numbers and directions – where you can find it immediately."
As a policyholder for a little more than a year, the glass door incident was the first claim Ana submitted to VPI Pet Insurance for Roxy or her mixed-breed pooch, Oreo. Ana was pleased with the claims process and how quickly her reimbursement check arrived.
"Having a policy with VPI reassured me that I would not be out of pocket for the full amount to treat Roxy," explained Ana. "Replacing the door was a big expense, so I am grateful that VPI reimbursed me for the majority of Roxy’s veterinary care."
Roxy’s incident was one of more than 100,000 claims received in the month of October 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 October included a beagle who received two broken ribs after getting kicked by a moose, a Pomeranian who got her foot caught in an escalator, and a Labrador retriever who got a little too into the Halloween spirit and ingested a bag of gummy bears and Skittles. All pets considered for the award made full recoveries and received insurance reimbursements for eligible expenses.
As the most unusual claim submitted in October, Roxy 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, Louie the mixed-breed dog who ingested a diaper, baby lotion and a book, and Heidi Elizabeth the American cocker spaniel who survived a two-story plunge out of the window.
Digital images of Roxy are available upon request. Send requests to email@example.com.
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