MIAMI – A 21-year-old woman told the Miami Herald this week that she flushed her pet hamster Pebbles down an airport toilet in November at the recommendation of a Spirit Airlines employee when the airline refused to let the animal on her flight to Fort Lauderdale.
Belen Aldecosea was flying home to Florida in November after a cancer scare, reports the Herald, and called the airline in advance to make sure her emotional support hamster could be on the flight from Baltimore.
Aldecosea told the Herald that when she arrived a Spirit Airlines employee told her Pebbles could not board with her and suggested she let the animal go outside or flush it down the toilet.
After agonizing over what to do, with no one to take Pebbles for her, Aldecosea said she felt like she had no other option and flushed the small hamster.
A representative for Spirit Airlines denied that an employee said to flush the emotional support animal.
A Transportation Security Administration spokesperson also confirmed to the newspaper that hamsters are welcome through TSA checkpoints.
To read the full story visit MiamiHerald.com.
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.