Woman Earns Sick Pay While Caring For Her Ill Dog in Landmark Italian

Lori Ennis
by Lori Ennis
We’re committed to finding, researching, and recommending the best products. We earn commissions from purchases you make using links in our articles. Learn more here
A landmark case in an Italian court awarded a woman sick pay for time she took off to care for her ill dog, with the judge deeming the care as ‘serious or family personal reasons.’

We know our pets are family members, right? And, when they are sick, we take care of them. Just like a human family member, that care often means we have to reschedule things, work included.

Related: Search and Rescue Dogs Saving Lives After Earthquake in Italy

Which is exactly what an Italian woman did when her 12-year-old English Settler Cucciola needed her to help it recover after surgery. The unnamed woman is a librarian at La Sapienza University in Rome, and with the help of lawyers from Italy’s Anti-Vivisection League, she won the right to sick pay for the two days she took off.

The judge in the case said that the university should consider her days off as being needed for ‘serious or family personal reasons,’ and the woman’s lawyers said that according to Italian law, people who abandon animals when gravely suffering can be jailed or fined up to €10,000 (nearly $12k U.S.).

Related: Gambling With Pet Insurance: The Sick Hits The Fan

Gianluca Felicetti is the president of the LAV, a non-profit animal advocacy group, and says that the court finally is recognizing that animals are members of families. He believes that this ruling will now make it easier for others who need to take care of their sick pets to also claim personal sick days for doing so. More and more countries are incorporating care for new pets as part of employee benefit packages, and some are even allowing bereavement pay to apply when a family pet passes away.

This is the first ruling of this type in Italian courts.

Lori Ennis
Lori Ennis

More by Lori Ennis