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Italian woman granted sick pay to look after her unwell dog

12 October 2017

She had two paid days off and the judge said that despite it being for a dog, the university's rules say she can take them for "serious or family personal reasons".

ROME (AP) - An Italian librarian who says her English setter is her family has won the right from her employer to use family sick leave to care for her ailing pet instead of having to use vacation days.

In February, the dog had to have a tumour removed, and in May she needed treatment for laryngeal paralysis, a disease affecting the throat which restricts the animal's ability to eat, bark and breathe.

A woman in Italy has been given the right to use family sick pay to look after her dog.

The court accepted the argument and ruled that La Sapienza must give the employee back pay for the two days she was absent from work.

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The woman, a Rome academic, won her case after being supported by a large animal rights organisation, the Italian Anti-Vivisection League (LAV).

Her lawyers used Italy's strict animal protection laws which say it is a crime to leave an animal to "grave suffering", La Pressa reports.

"I'm very pleased", the woman told Corriere della Sera after the ruling.

According to the head of the organization Gianluca, Felicetti, the decision was a step towards the recognition of Pets as family members.