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Woman Claims She Flushed Hamster on Spirit Air's Advice

Woman Claims She Flushed Hamster on Spirit Air's Advice

The lawyer for a student who says Spirit Airlines told her to flush her emotional-support hamster down the toilet says she's still distraught over the incident but now has a replacement rodent for comfort.

When Belen Aldecosea was flying home to South Florida for a holiday break, she was hoping to bring her pet hamster, Pebbles, along with her. ".This is a situation where there weren't body cameras or anything".

Allowing hamsters on flights is up to individual airlines, as is any guideline around allowing animals on board of airplanes, a TSA representative said to the Herald.

The growth was later determined to be benign, but still needed to be removed, which was why Aldecosea was going home to Florida. "This was a tiny cute harmless hamster that could fit in the palm of her hand".

She called Spirit ahead of time to ask whether Pebbles could accompany her on the flight, Goodman said.

Spirit Airlines offered her a voucher for a free flight to some cities, but Aldecosea declined.

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. Both Delta and United announced new policies slated to go into effect next month that require passengers who want to bring emotional support animals with them to submit a veterinary health form at least 48 hours before travel and to provide a letter from a doctor or mental health professional, plus a signed document saying the animal is trained to behave in public.

Regardless, Aldecosea was in a hard position; desperate to fly home to attend to a medical issue, with no friends or family in Baltimore to take care of her pet.

She claims, at this point, an airline agent suggested setting Pebbles free outside, or to flush her down the toilet.

"She was scared. I was scared".

The Miami native says Pebbles was a true comfort to her at a time when she really needed support past year during her first semester at Wilson College in Chambersburg, Penn., when a golf-ball sized growth in her neck led to a cancer scare.

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

It all started when Belen Aldecosea chose to fly home with her hamster Pebbles.

But the decision whether or not to allow some animals and not others is a decision left, ultimately, up to the airlines.

PETA, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, said someone should be held accountable in the animal's death. "One phone call could have saved this animal, or some kind person at the airport could have helped".

Derek Dombrowski, a spokesman for Spirit Airlines, denied in a statement to The Post that any employee suggested that Aldecosea hurt or injure the critter prior to the flight.


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