An Italian academic who claimed paid sick days in order to care for her ill dog has won a case against her employer.
The librarian, who doesn't want to be identified, is single and says she considers the dog, who she rescued from a park, to be her family.
The academic, who has not been named, took two days off to care for Cucciola, a 12-year-old English Setter, after the dog underwent surgery.
The lawyers used Italy's laws to support their case citing that anyone who abandons an animal to "grave suffering" be sentenced to jail for a year and fined up to 10,000 Euros or almost $12,000, The Guardian reported.
The court accepted the argument and ruled that La Sapienza must give the employee back pay for the two days she was absent from work.
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The ruling means the woman does not have to use annual leave days to stay by the side of the English setter.
Animal rights group, the Italian Anti-Vivisection League (LAV), are hailing the win as a victory for animal rights around Europe.
LAV president Gianluca Felicetti said the decision set an important precedent for other pet owners, as well as being a "significant step forward" in recognising domestic animals as members of their owner's family, La Stampa reports.
The woman said Cucciola is recovering well from her operation.