Compassionate leave for pet owners?

19377162_SAA PROPOSAL that people whose pets die should get compassionate leave from work, met with mixed reaction in Limerick this week.

After an animal welfare spokesman suggested that employees who lose a loved pet should be granted mandatory leave from work, Finola Kelly of the Limerick Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals said they were in favour of compassionate leave for pet owners as it was “a very upsetting experience” for families when a beloved pet passes.

“The Limerick SPCA are of the opinion that if a company is in a position to grant somebody who has lost their pet, compassionate leave, that would most certainly be a very welcome gesture.

“However, given the current economic climate, if a business depends greatly on the availability of its staff to survive, then we would understand if they were not in a financial position to grant time off,” said Ms Kelly.

Taking a different viewpoint, Mary Mollica of Limerick Feral Cat commented, “We don’t agree with the suggestion. While we fully understand the pain that a pet’s death causes, we believe the focus should be on updating our outdated animal welfare laws.”

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“Animal welfare volunteers are constantly battling to get justice in cruelty cases and it’s an uphill battle due to the lack of cruelty laws to support them. This is where the focus should be.

“The suggestion of compassionate leave does nothing to help the perception of animal welfare groups,” Ms Mollica said.