North Carolina Cat Goes for a Spin in Family Dryer

Nation’s Largest Pet Insurer Selects Most Unusual January Claim

BREA, Calif. (January, 2018) – When the time came for Jennifer Liotino of Mooresville, North Carolina, and her family to look for a new pet, she came across a 12-week-old Siberian and decided this would be the perfect companion for them and their mixed breed dog, Henry. Named “Sugar Cookie” by Jennifer’s kids, the cat has made a sweet and loving home with the Liotino family. However, one Saturday evening caused quite a scare when a load of laundry turned into hide and seek for the family cat, who was heard meowing from the dryer. Sugar Cookie’s fluffy dryer cycle ride and quick recovery have earned her the title of January’s “Most Unusual Claim of the Month” by Nationwide, the nation’s first and largest provider of pet health insurance.

Sugar Cookie fit in well with the entire family and had extraordinary luck, up until the night of the incident. It was a Saturday night, and Jennifer found herself at home tidying up the house and doing laundry. In the middle of folding clothes, Jennifer took a quick break to work on something else, and put the remaining clothes to be folded back in the dryer. Jennifer set the dryer on a quick fluff cycle and went to complete her other task. Minutes later, Jennifer heard meowing coming from somewhere she thought to be the pantry.

Jennifer went to the kitchen pantry to look for Sugar Cookie, but there was no sign of her. After a few more meows, Jennifer realized where the sounds were coming from and rushed to the dryer. When Jennifer retrieved Sugar Cookie from the dryer her coat was very hot and her hair were sticking straight up. Unsure of what to do next, Jennifer took Sugar Cookie outside to cool off and immediately called an emergency veterinarian who recommended she bring Sugar Cookie to the veterinary emergency hospital.

Sugar Cookie was taken to Carolina Veterinary Specialists of Huntersville, North Carolina, where she was put on an IV for dehydration and had several tests performed, including bloodwork. Luckily for Sugar Cookie, her results came back normal and she was released to go home with a recommendation of close monitoring.

“Sugar Cookie is lucky she was heard after only a short amount of time in the dryer,” said Carol McConnell, DVM, MBA, vice president and chief veterinary officer for Nationwide. “Being in the dryer any longer may have resulted in serious burns, injuries or possibly even death. It’s a good thing Jennifer took Sugar Cookie to a veterinarian as quickly as she did.”

Since the traumatic event, Sugar Cookie has returned to her normal self, but finds herself staying away from the dryer.

“The service we received at Carolina Veterinary Specialists was excellent. They examined her immediately,” said Jennifer. “I recommend pet insurance to everyone. You never know what can happen to your pets, especially with your indoor pets.”

As the most unusual claim submitted in January, Sugar Cookie will be in the running for the 2018 Hambone Award. Sugar Cookie’s incident was one of more than 160,000 pet insurance claims received in the month of January by Nationwide, and was selected by Nationwide associates as the most unusual of them all. Honorable mentions in January include a miniature smooth-haired dachshund who chewed his way through the kitchen wall, a Shetland sheepdog who chewed up an electrical cord and a miniature schnauzer who fell through a frozen lake. All pets considered for the Hambone Award have made full recoveries and received insurance reimbursements for eligible expenses.

Note to editors: Digital images of Sugar Cookie are available upon request. Please send requests to

About Hambone Award

The Hambone Award is named in honor of a Nationwide-insured dog who got stuck in a refrigerator and ate an entire holiday 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 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 Hambone Award nominees are available at

About Nationwide pet insurance

With more than 650,000 insured pets, pet insurance from Nationwide is the first and largest pet health insurance provider in the United States. Since 1982, Nationwide has helped provide pet owners with peace of mind and is committed to being the trusted choice of America’s pet lovers.

Nationwide plans cover dogs, cats, birds and exotic pets for multiple medical problems and conditions relating to accidents, illnesses and injuries. Medical plans are available in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.

Insurance plans 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), Columbus, OH, an A.M. Best A+ rated company (2017); National Casualty Company (all other states), Columbus, OH, an A.M. Best A+ rated company (2017). Agency of Record: DVM Insurance Agency. Pet owners can find Nationwide pet insurance on Facebook or follow on Twitter. For more information about Nationwide pet insurance, call 800-USA-PETS (800-872-7387) or visit

About Nationwide

Nationwide, a Fortune 100 company based in Columbus, Ohio, is one of the largest and strongest diversified insurance and financial services organizations in the U.S. and is rated A+ by both A.M. Best and Standard & Poor’s. The company provides a full range of insurance and financial services, including auto, commercial, homeowners, farm and life insurance; public and private sector retirement plans, annuities and mutual funds; banking and mortgages; excess & surplus, specialty and surety; pet, travel, motorcycle and boat insurance. For more information, visit

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