Court grants woman paid sick leave to care for ailing dog

The woman was allowed to take paid time off to look after her pet
Credit Michael Smitheman  EyeEm

The woman was allowed to take paid time off to look after her pet Credit Michael Smitheman EyeEm

The unnamed woman, who works for Rome's La Sapienza University, was brought to court after she took two days off to care for 12-year-old English Setter Cucciola after the animal underwent surgery.

However, the 12-year-old animal fell ill earlier this year, and had to have a tumour removed from her breast in February.

The woman asked the university to grant her paid leave in order to take Cucciola to the vet, but her request was rejected, prompting the unusual legal action.

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A judge accepted the lawyers' case that her university should count her two days off under an allowance for absences related to "serious or family personal reasons".

Italian League antivivisection (one of Europe's largest organizations for the protection of animal rights) has helped the scientific employee with this case.

The woman's lawyers cited Italian law that fined, or even jailed, people who abandoned or harmed their pets as the reason why the woman should be given paid time off to care for her dog.

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The woman said Cucciola is recovering well from her operation. She added that Cucciola is recovering well.

Animal activists told The Telegraph that the ruling showed that Italy believes that pets are "members of the family" and that the case will set an important precedent.

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