Oh, Henry! Labrador Retriever Falls 20 Feet, Lands On Top of Car, Survives

Nation’s Largest Pet Insurer Selects December’s Most Unusual Claim

Brea, Calif. (Jan. 22, 2014) – Paige Allford of San Diego still can’t figure out what was going through Henry, her 2-year-old Labrador retriever’s mind when he jumped over their neighbor’s balcony wall, falling 20 feet and landing on the roof of a car. Amazingly, after an emergency trip to the veterinarian, the lucky Lab was diagnosed with only minor injuries. Henry has since made a full recovery and, as a result of the incident, earned the title of December’s “Most Unusual Claim of the Month” by Veterinary Pet Insurance Co. (VPI).

"We let him off the leash to go see our neighbor who was on her second-story enclosed deck," explained Paige. "Henry ran excitedly up the staircase, but when he got to the second story, he ran past our neighbor and jumped over the enclosed balcony."

After jumping over the balcony wall and falling approximately 20 feet, Henry landed on a car parked below the deck, denting the roof of the vehicle. Paige immediately took Henry to the veterinarian, where he was examined and underwent X-rays. Amazingly, other than some swelling and tenderness in his knee and a broken nail, Henry was injury-free from the incident.

"Labradors are a very athletic breed, and many are very energetic when they're young," said Carol McConnell, DVM, MBA, vice president and chief veterinary medical officer for VPI. "It seems Henry's enthusiasm got the better of him. We're all grateful he was not injured more severely. When on balconies, decks, or any elevated surface, it’s important for pet owners to keep a watchful eye on their pets to prevent incidents like Henry’s from occurring."

Henry is the fourth dog that Paige has insured with VPI Pet Insurance. In addition to the injuries suffered from the recent fall, Henry has had his share of other ailments, ranging from skin allergies to anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) surgery. Paige is thankful that VPI has helped to defray some of the costs of his treatment.

"I will always purchase insurance for my pets," said Paige. "One of my dogs had to receive radiation when he had cancer. Fortunately, we had VPI to help cover some of the treatment costs, or that never would have been an option."

Henry’s incident was one of more than 80,000 claims received in the month of December 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 December included a golden retriever who ate Christmas light bulbs, a Maine coon cat who fell four stories out of a window, and a mixed-breed dog who was hit in the eye with a baseball. All pets considered for the award made full recoveries and received insurance reimbursements for eligible expenses.

As the most unusual claim submitted in December, Henry 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 Henry are available upon request. Send requests to dolson@petinsurance.com.

About VPI Hambone Award

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.

About Veterinary Pet Insurance

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. Wellness coverage and 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.

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