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Paw-ternity Leave: Companies Offer Paid Leave To Care For Sick Pets

(CBS Local) - To many people, pets are part of the family. Some companies across the U.S. are recognizing this and are now offering employees paid leave to care for new puppies or sick pets.

"This is kind of a no-brainer," Allison McMenimen, vice president of Nina Hale told The New York Times. The Minneapolis marketing company came up with "fur-ternity leave" to give their staff the ability to work from home for a week while caring for new dogs or cats. "The idea of offering benefits that just help keep employees at the office, that's over," McMenimen added.

Nina Hales isn't alone in offering employees pet-based benefits.

"Pawternity leave really is allowing your staff to take time off to care for your dogs," Mike Ford of San Diego's Pro Back Office told CBS8. "It's a great perk for the employer and it builds morale," he added.

Non-profit Wounded Warrior Homes's pet-friendly policy allowed Gene Jennett to take care of his golden retriever, Molly, after her knee surgery.

"For a couple of days, she couldn't bear any weight, so I had to take care of my dog," Jennett explained. "I think it's a great idea."

In New York, data company mParticle is offering their staff two weeks of paid time off for workers who are adopting rescue dogs or buy an exotic animal.

Pets owners say those first days in a new home can be crucial to their new friend's development and being there is very important to the process. "It can be a stressful situation going from its original home to a new home," Connor McCarthy from Nina Hale said.

The account manager used his time off to help his goldendoodle puppy, Bentley, settle in at home. "It was really, really nice to be there while I'm working to transition him."

Many companies are also taking into account how devastating the loss of a pet can be and have added pet bereavement leave to their benefits too.

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