Woman says airline worker told her to flush pet hamster

Student flushes emotional support hamster down toilet after airline refuses to allow rodent on flight

Student Belen Aldecosea told the Miami Herald that a Spirit Airlines employee advised her to either flush the hamster, named Pebbles, down the toilet or let it loose outdoors. The airline said yes, according to the Miami Herald.

A Spirit airlines spokesperson did acknowledge the airline had originally told Aldecosea that she could bring her pet hamster on board, but that it had been a mistake and they informed her shortly thereafter that the airline didn't allow hamsters.

Ms Aldecosea said she unsuccessfully tried renting a vehicle to take Pebbles back to her university accommodation, and that any friends who could have come to pick her up were several hours away. A spokesman for Spirit told the Herald that someone did give Aldecosea misinformation that the animal could go on the plane, but said no one told her to flush the hamster. "It was horrifying trying to put her in the toilet", Aldecosea said.

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 auto.

'I was emotional. I was crying. "I sat there for a good ten minutes crying in the stall".

A representative for Spirit Airlines denied that an employee said to flush the emotional support animal.

In recent weeks, airlines have tightened restrictions on animals allowed on flights after rising accounts of unusual emotional support animals, including a peacock and sheep.

Aldecosea's lawyer, Adam Goodman, sees the cases very differently however.

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He told the Miami Herald: 'This wasn't a giant peacock that could pose a danger to other passengers.

Spirit Airlines has since come out to deny any wrongdoing, saying that while Aldecosea was misinformed initially by the airline initially, a gate representative did not suggest mercy killing Pebbles.

She claims the first Spirit Airlines agent she interacted with checked Pebbles in with no problem, and Pebbles' cage even fit the proper size regulations for carry-on luggage.

She declined the offer of a travel voucher offered by the airline.

Guidance states: 'Hamsters are welcome in our checkpoint. "Their container would typically go through the X-ray while the owner would hold the hamster as the passenger walks through the metal detector so the creature is not subjected to radiation", according to TSA spokeswoman Sari Koshetz.

Aldecosea said she had her doctor's letter certifying Pebbles.

However, it is up to individual airlines to decide what animals are allowed on on board its planes. So she did what she felt was the most humane choice. Which is true, so don't flush her down a toilet MY GOSH.

"They gave me the wrong information a few times", she added. "I didn't have any other options", Aldecosea told the Miami Herald.

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