Italian woman granted sick pay to look after her unwell dog

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An Italian woman has won her battle to be granted sick pay for days she took off to look after her poorly dog, in a first for the pet-loving country.

The unidentified woman won the case against La Sapienza University in Rome, where she works, Sky News reported.

"This case reflects a shift in public opinion and understanding of animal rights", a spokeswoman for LAV told CNN. Three months later, she underwent treatment for laryngeal paralysis, a disease affecting the throat which restricts an animal's ability to eat, bark, and breathe. The Italian court ruled her two-day absence will count as paid time off for "serious or family personal reasons".

Italy's Penal Code prohibits the abandonment of pets and said keeping an animal in conditions that may cause it to suffer is a crime; both are punishable with jail time or a hefty fine.

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Animal rights group, the Italian Anti-Vivisection League (LAV), are hailing the win as a victory for animal rights around Europe.

She said she had no family who could have looked after Cucciola on her behalf.

Speaking afterwards to the Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera, Cucciola's owner said: "I'm very pleased. Now, those in the same situation will be able to cite this important precedent".

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