Italian woman granted sick pay to look after ill dog

It is the first such finding by an Italian court.

Public sector employees in Italy are entitled to paid days off for serious personal or family-related reasons, similar to the way compassionate leave works in the UK.

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.

Italy has further cemented its reputation as a pet-loving country after a woman was given paid sick leave to look after her unwell dog.

But she ended up in court, saying she shouldn't lose payment for the days she didn't go to work.

The law, The Guardian reports, prohibits people from abandoning an animal to "grave suffering" - with a penalty of one year in jail and a 10,000 euro fine.

The university reconsidered the case, and ruled in the woman's favor, granting her the leave allowance traditionally used for workers dealing with serious personal or family problems, according to the Italian Anti-Vivisection League (LAV), an animal rights organization which offered Anna legal advice.

LAV president Gianluca Felicetti said anyone who obtains a veterinarian's certificate should enjoy the same benefit, citing Cucciola's case as precedent.

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