Italy: Woman wins paid sick leave to look after dog

An Italian woman has been granted paid sick leave for days she took off to look after her dog, following a landmark court battle.

The 53-year-old academic took two days off working at La Sapienza University in Rome in order to look after her English settler, Cucciola, who became unwell.

The dog had surgery in February to remove a tumour from her breast, and separate treatment in May for laryngeal paralysis.

The woman was refused paid leave to take Cucciola to the vet, so she went to court with the support of the Anti-vivisection League (LAV).

The judge accepted her lawyers’ argument that the university should attribute her absence to “serious or family personal reasons”.

Gianluca Felicette, president of the LAV, said: “It is a significant step forward that recognised that animals that are not kept for financial gain or their working ability are effectively members of the family. Now, those in the same situation will be able to cite this important precedent.”