An Italian woman has just won a revolutionary court case after stating that she wanted to be given two days of family sick pay while she cared for her dog after surgery.

It is reportedly the first time that an Italian court has ever made a ruling on the subject.

The woman, who is an academic at Rome’s La Sapienza University, was assisted by lawyers from Italy’s Anti-Vivisection League (LAV).

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Lawyers cited the country’s legislation which states that anyone who abandons a pet to “grave suffering” can be punished by a $11,800 (€10,000) and one year in prison. The woman argued that she should be allotted her sick pay for taking care of her 12-year-old English Setter.

Courts then agreed that the school could list the absence as being caused by “serious or family personal reasons” because animals count as family members.

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

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