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Tag: leave

Paw-ternity leave? Don’t hold your breath

paternityTake a decent idea, give it a cute name, and there’s no telling how far — in the age of the Internet — it might go.

Paw-ternity leave, not an entirely new concept, is drawing some major attention this week — the root of which, best I can figure, was a story in London’s Daily Mirror.

To read the headlines that one story has spawned in the echo chamber that is the Internet you’d think giving employees paid time off when they get a new dog was an idea that was sweeping the nation, if not the globe.

Not quite — though we wouldn’t mind if it did.

The Mirror story mentions two companies in the UK — one of them being Mars Petcare, which provides 10 hours of paid leave for employees with new pets, the other being a small British tech support company whose owner offers up to three weeks of paid leave when employees bring a new pet home.

“Pets are like babies nowadays so why shouldn’t staff have some time off when they arrive?” said Greg Buchanan, who owns Manchester-based IT company BitSol Solutions. “The first few weeks of a dog moving to a new home is a really important time, especially (with) puppies.”

“I don’t have kids myself but I do have dogs and I understand how much they mean to people,” he added.

In an interview with USA Today, Buchanan said he took a week off from work to help a new puppy get settled in his home.

“We got a puppy from a rescue home and we realized it needed to be looked after properly, so I took a week off to ensure it was welcomed into the home, and to set boundaries for the dogs. You know, ‘You can’t chew the couch’ and ‘You can’t jump on the television,’ things like that. And it went from there, and my dog is now better for it,” says Buchanan.

After that, he began offering employees paid leaves when they got a new pet. He says the policy has helped improve office morale.

The Mirror article also cites a survey by pet insurance provider Petplan that found almost one in 20 new pet owners in the UK has taken paw-ternity leave.

“The rise in new pet owners taking paw-ternity leave indicates that people recognize the importance of settling in new pets with the right support and care,” said Petplan’s Isabella von Mesterhazy. “The early days of a kitten or puppy’s life are a vital part of the pet’s early development – especially for them to become a proper part of the family.”

(Photo: Pinterest)

Dog-shooting officer placed on leave

The off-duty federal police officer who shot and killed a Siberian husky he claims attacked his German shepherd in a Severn dog park has been placed on administrative leave.

Police in Anne Arundel County are still declining to identify the 32-year-old officer, and the officer’s attorney would not release his name either, citing threats against his client.

Attorney David Putzi says the Department of Defense officer shot the 3-year-old husky known as Bear-Bear in defense of his dog, himself and his wife, according to the Associated Press. Putzi says Bear-Bear attacked the officer’s German shepherd and that the husky’s owners “could not or would not” control their pet.

Police say the officer fired his personal handgun.

About 50 people, including Bear-Bear’s owner and her family attended a memorial for the dog at the Quail Run Dog Park last night, according to the Baltimore Sun blog, “Unleashed.”

The blog reported that consideration will be given to renaming the park in Bear-Bear’s honor.

Two more reasons to not leave dog in car

stolenyorkiewiliam040410The first comes from Washington, D.C., where a woman left her Yorkshire terrier in her car Saturday while she popped into a laundromat. When she returned, her car window was smashed and her beloved William was gone.

“He’s so much a part of my family. Everyone that knows him loves him. I know he’s scared right now. I can’t sleep because I know he’s scared, and he doesn’t know these people. He’s not gonna eat. They just need to get him back,” Denise Conner-Battle told ABC 7 News.

The second comes from Middleton, Wisconsin, where a dog left in a car while his owner stopped for lunch Thursday somehow managed to shift the car from park to neutral.

Police said the car rolled out of its parking spot and into a pickup truck across the lot. Damage to both vehicles was estimated in the thousands of dollars, according to an Associated Press report. The dog was fine.

5 dog night: Over the limit in Wheeling, Ill.

Margaret Bucher has five dogs.

The town she lives in only allows four.

That, after the village board turned down her pleas Monday night, leaves Margaret with only a couple of options — ditch one of her beloved canines, or get the heck out of Wheeling, Illinois.

Bucher on Monday did her best to get an exemption from the rule, bringing a letter of support from her mail carrier, and a letter “written” by her dogs: “Please let us stay in our home. We are house dogs and live in a clean home. We have to depend on our owner to fight for us. She loves us very, very much.”

Only a handful of people attended the meeting, and only one person spoke out on Bucher’s behalf, according to the Daily Herald in suburban Chicago. 

Trustee Robert Heer blamed Bucher for “creating a circus atmosphere … You talked to every radio station and newspaper you could.” (Does Wheeling restrict the number of media outlets one can speak to, as well?)

“Laws are for all people,” Heer added. “You come with this idle threat of moving. If you choose to leave, then leave.”

Village officials had given Bucher until April 1 to give up one of her dogs or face a fine of between $50 and $500 per day. Officials later extended the deadline to give Bucher time to work out a plan. But Bucher said she couldn’t possibly choose which of her five dogs – a Pomeranian, two Maltese, a shih tzu and a Maltese/shih tzu mix – she would give up to comply with Wheeling village code.

If the village doesn’t let her keep all five dogs, she said, she’ll move.

She wouldn’t leave fire without her dog

A woman who refused to leave her burning apartment without her dachsund remained in critical condition in a Houston hospital yesterday.

Relatives say Claudia Harris was cooking Saturday when the fire started inside her unit at the Hearthwood Apartments near Reliant Stadium. The landlord tried to get her out, but she wouldn’t leave without first finding her dachsund, Minnie, TV station KHOU in Houston reported.

“I’m not surprised that she would do something like that because I know how she feels about this dog and she will risk her own life for this dog,” said Charisse Harris, the victim’s daughter. “She treats the dog like a person. It’s like her other daughter.”

By the time firefighters arrived, Harris was unconscious and they had to carry her out. Minnie, the dog, managed to escape on her own and she wasn’t injured.

(Photo courtesy of KHOU-TV)