Librarian in Italy won the right from her employer to use two ‘sick days’ to stay home with her sick dog

An Italian animal advocacy group recently helped an Italian librarian win the right from her employer to use two of her sick days to stay home to care for her 12-year-old dog.

(photo by Elisa)

The librarian had no family or outside help to care for her dog Cucciola, who was found abandoned in a park in Rome before being rescued and adopted. She wanted to stay home with Cucciola during recovery following surgical removal of a breast tumor. The animal advocacy group LAV helped persuade her employer, La Sapienza University into allowing the woman to use two days of her family sick leave instead of having to use any of her vacation days.

Gianluca Felicetti, LAV President, said a veterinarian’s statement for their sick or injured pet should be able to do the same and hopes this case will set a precedent.

This isn’t the first time I’ve written on this topic. Back in 2010 PoC published an article titled Would You Stay Home With A Sick Pet? where I reflected back on an experience that occurred several years ago when an employee I worked with took two days off of work to be with his very ill dog. He was honest when he talked to the head of human relations, a huge animal lover who would sometimes bring her dog to work.

He was ridiculed by many co-workers for taking time off.  I heard employees say”It’s just a dog” so many times I was ready to strangle someone. How can anyone who loves animals or has a pet make that statement?

I asked around on social media and a large percentage of my friends said they’d taken time off (even without pay) to care for a sick pet. When a dog or cat needs around the clock care and that care should take place in the home (which is best both financially and emotionally), employers should respect the decision to stay home with their pet.

There are many companies that don’t offer sick days as part of their employee benefits package but those who do should consider giving an employee the requested time off with pay.

Have any of you ever took time off of work to stay at home with a sick pet? Please tell your story in the comment section below.

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Note: Since no photo was available of Cucciola my cat Sammy graciously posed for the lead photo.

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