Florida woman flushes pet hamster down airport toilet after being denied passage

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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 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.

Aldecosea skipped her flight and tried to rent a auto instead, but said she was too young to rent one. "It was horrifying trying to put her in the toilet", Aldecosea said. Finally, she decided the best option would be to flush Pebbles down the toilet.

"I was emotional, I was crying. I sat there for a good 10 minutes crying in the stall", she added.

Aldecosea is now considering filing a lawsuit against Spirit Airlines for the incident after rejecting the airline's offer of a free flight voucher.

She checked in with the airline, bringing along paperwork that proved the rodent was an emotional-support animal.

The hamster was in a small cage that fit regulations for carry-on luggage but the airline said the pet could not go on with passengers or in the cargo area of the plane, the outlet reports. She tried to rent a vehicle, failed, and claims that an airline staffer recommended she either release the hamster outside or flush it.

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

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When she turned up, however, Pebbles was not allowed on the plane. However, Aldecosea adopted Pebbles when she felt she needed company after she discovered a potentially cancerous growth in her neck.

She told the Miami Herald: "She was scared".

She twice called Spirit in advance, to verify the hamster could fly. Eventually, a Spirit employee allegedly suggested that Aldecosea release the hamster outside or flush it down an airport toilet.

Hamsters are not prohibited by the Transportation Security Administration, but it would have had to be taken out of its holder and carried through the security checkpoint.

The airline refused to allow Dexter to get on board the aircraft, despite the passenger going so far as buying the huge bird its own ticket for the flight. The rep told her it was fine - an assurance that Spirit agrees was given to Aldecosea.

And as she considered it a more humane way of ending her life than letting her free outside, she did it. She said she considered it more humane to end her life right away, and not let her run around scared in the cold, only to die getting hit by a auto.

She said the alternative would have been to set Pebbles free to roam the unsafe streets of Baltimore - where crime drama The Wire is set.

Belen insists she checked auto hire and Greyhound bus options before killing Pebbles, and claimed flushing him was kinder than letting him free where he would freeze or be hit by a vehicle.