Airline User Flushes Rejected 'Emotional Support Hamster' Down Toilet

Posted February 09, 2018

Belen Aldecosea, 21, alleges that she twice checked with Spirit Airlines whether or not she could bring Pebbles with her on a flight home from Maryland to Florida and on both occasions was told there would not be a problem.

But according to The Miami Herald, when the 21-year-old got to the airport, Spirit's told her Pebbles couldn't board after all. But when the 21-year-old arrived at Baltimore-Washington International airport for her November 21 flight, she was told Pebbles was not welcome.

Aldecosea eventually flushed Pebbles down the toilet after she was unable to find someone to take the hamster or rent a auto to drive instead of flying, the attorney says.

"She was scared. I was scared".

Aldecosea said she flushed her beloved pet only after trying six different rental vehicle agencies.

"I was emotional, I was crying".

She told the newspaper she cried in a restroom stall for 10 minutes after feeling that she had no choice but to flush Pebbles.

She said she emailed Spirit Airlines about the incident and that they offered her a voucher for a free flight to selected cities.

Her attorney, Adam Goodman said this case was different than the woman who made headlines last week after a United Airlines flight refused her request to bring her emotional support peacock on a flight.

And, claiming she had no other options, Aldecosea says she did just that.

However, when she proceeded to the security checkpoint, she says she was stopped by a Spirit agent who told her she couldn't bring her hamster, even though it had been previously confirmed as permissible.

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"It's hard, but you really have to look at the circumstances because this whole thing only makes sense with someone telling her to (flush the animal)", Goodman told USA TODAY. That's when she bought Pebbles for comfort.

However, Spirit denied that their employee recommended the option of disposing of Pebbles down an airport toilet.

The growth she found on her neck proved benign, but it caused her some pain and so she was travelling back to the sunshine state to have it removed.

"They gave me the wrong information a couple of times", she added.

"To be clear, at no point did any of our agents suggest this guest (or any other for that matter) should flush or otherwise injure an animal", he told the Miami Herald.

The US Transportation Safety Administration has no problem with carry-on hamsters.

The airline outlines its policy online, including that it does not allow snakes, other reptiles, rodents, ferrets or spiders.

"Her description of the scene is flat-out horrific: "[Pebbles] was scared.

But with no other options, Aldecosea said she felt it was more humane to end her life that way, rather than letting her go and risking her getting hit by a vehicle.

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