A local feline embarked on a 21-day adventure that left her wounded and dehydrated landed her the Hambone Award. 

Four-year-old Minnow, a cat from Alpharetta, is the 2019 winner of the 11th annual Hambone Award, which honors the most unusual pet insurance claim of the year.

Minnow went missing May 15, and owners Andrea Brannen and Elaine Jackson-Brannen immediately began searching for Minnow. Brannen and her wife posted flyers, went door to door and searched the grounds near their home. Twenty-one days later, Minnow showed up at the back door. 

"It was amazing," Brannen said. "You wouldn't imagine such relief. It was a major weight and we were smiling ear to ear."

Brannen immediately took Minnow to Midway Animal Hospital in Alpharetta, where she was diagnosed with starvation, dehydration and a broken rib. Given all that the little cat had been through, the veterinary staff says they were impressed by her quick recovery.

Each year, Nationwide insurance grants the Hambone Award to honor local veterinary practices for their pivotal care and provide them additional funds for pets in need.

Minnow's 21-day journey and subsequent recovery earned Minnow a nomination for the 2019 Nationwide Hambone Award. 

This year’s five Hambone Award finalists were chosen after sifting through millions of claims on Nationwide’s database of more than 750,000 insured pets. All five veterinary practices that treated the “Most Unusual Pet Insurance Claim of the Year” finalists will receive a portion of the $30,000 Nationwide-funded award through the Veterinary Care Foundation.

Midway Animal Hospital was also award $10,000 to care for animals whose owners may not be able to afford vet care. 

Minnow did not comment on her award, but seemed to bask in the attention. Now recovered from her journey, Minnow is back home where she belongs.  

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