This woman has been granted sick pay to mind her unwell dog

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A judge has decided that a woman who works for La Sapienza University in Rome should be paid her sick time that she took to care for sick dog.

The woman, who was only identified as Anna, asked for two days' leave because the ill animal needed constant medical supervision before it could be taken into surgery.

The LAV is one of the biggest animal rights charities in Europe.

She adopted the dog after finding her abandoned in a park in the Italian capital, and now considers her part of her family. 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.

But she won the case, with help from lawyers of the Italian Anti-Vivisection League, after a judge ruled the absence counted as 'serious or family personal reasons'.

According to La Pressa, Italy's strict animal protection laws, which state it is a crime to leave an animal in "grave suffering", allowed the woman's lawyers to build a case against her employer.

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

The woman said Cucciola is recovering well from her operation.

They have said that it is a step forward to pets being recognised as family members.

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