Airline Suggested Passenger Toilet Flush Emotional Support Hamster, Woman Claims

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The Miami Herald reports that before Aldecosea flew home from college to South Florida, she twice called Spirit Airlines to ensure she could bring Pebbles, her pet dwarf hamster.

Aldecosea told the Herald that, out of options and with her flight boarding soon, she considered just letting Pebbles free but felt it was more humane to flush the animal than let it run around in the cold, only to get hit by a vehicle.

It's reported Spirit Air staff told Belen Aldecosea she couldn't board with Pebbles, despite being previously told she could.

While she was panicking, she alleges that a member of Spirit staff suggested she either let Pebbles go free outside or flush her pet down the toilet.

Spirit spokesperson Derek Dombrowski admits an employee misinformed Belen about her hamster's travel rights, but vehemently denied the flushing suggestion.

"I didn't have any other options", she told the newspaper.

After realizing she had no other options (I mean, there were plenty of other options than sticking an animal in a toilet, but I digress) Aldecosea decided that sending Pebbles to her watery grave would be more humane than letting her run free only to die from hunger, or to be hit by a vehicle.

'I was emotional. I was crying.

"After researching this incident, we can say confidently that at no point did any of our agents suggest this Guest (or any other for that matter) should flush or otherwise injure an animal", Spirit said in a statement to Business Insider.

The aircraft have since offered her a voucher for a free flight to specific urban areas, which Aldecosea declined. She said she's considering suing Spirit over the conflicting instructions that pressured her into making an anguished decision.

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

When Aldecosea checked in at the Baltimore airport, she had no problems with carrying Pebbles - who was not only a pet, according to Aldecosea, but also an emotional support animal, verified by a letter from her doctor.

She decided flushing the animal was the humane option.

In any case, the aircrafts choose if the creatures are permitted on board and most transporters, while they will permit more run of the mill enthusiastic help creatures, for example, mutts and felines, won't permit rodents over wellbeing and security concerns.

"This was a highly stressful situation and people react in a lot of different ways", he said.

She says on both occasions she was assured her furry companion was fine to fly. "Imagine anyone in that situation that has to make a choice like that".

Goodman will represent Aldecosea should she decide to follow through with a lawsuit.

"A hamster is the most innocuous animal".

"Rodents of any kind are not allowed on board for health and safety reasons".

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