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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Dogs that survived three weeks in a silo named winners of national Hambone Award

German shepherds Ziva and Zeus and their owner Jessica Donges have been awarded Nationwide Insurance’s annual Hambone Award for most unusual pet claim of the year. The dogs were rescued from an underground silo after 21 days back in April of this year. (Colin Mulvany / The Spokesman-Review)

Two German shepherds from Medical Lake will receive a national award from an insurance company after they were trapped in a silo for 21 days.

Nationwide Insurance offers the Hambone Award to the most unusual insurance claim they receive during a given year. This year’s recipients, Zeus and Ziva, who are owned by Jessica Donges, of Medical Lake, became emaciated after they entered a missile silo and couldn’t exit.

The dogs stood in six inches of water until their owner, who searched for weeks, discovered them. The Medical Lake Fire Department and the Spokane County Sheriff’s Office helped rescue the German shepherds, which were then taken to an emergency clinic.

Ziva lost more than 20 pounds, was treated for a gash on her leg and given medication for anxiety. Zeus lost 30 pounds and was treated for hot spots, Giardia and liver issues. The two German shepherds have made a full recovery.

The dogs will receive goody bags and the clinic that treated them, Pet Veterinary Emergency Clinic and Referral Center in Spokane, will receive $10,000, which will be used for emergency treatment on animals whose owners may not be able to afford their care.

Other pets nominated for the award include a cat from North Carolina that survived a dryer cycle and a New York dog that chewed through a kitchen wall.

Zeus, Ziva and their owner Donges will receive the award Monday at the Pet Emergency Clinic and Referral Center on 21 E Mission Avenue at 10 a.m.

Editor’s note: The original version of this story incorrectly stated the kind of silo where the dogs were trapped. This story was changed on Monday, Oct. 15, 2018 to correct the error. They were trapped in a missile silo.