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'Emotional Support Hamster' Flushed Down Loo After Being Blocked From Plane
09 February 2018, 05:20 | Melanie Burgess
Woman told she can't take emotional support hamster on flight flushes it down toilet
A college student claims she was forced to flush her emotional support hamster down an airport toilet after getting bad info from a ticket agent - but Spirit Airlines claims no employee ever said to give the rodent its final boarding call. But when she arrived for her flight, airline staff would not allow to bring the tiny animal on board.
Ms Aldecosea said she unsuccessfully tried renting a auto to take Pebbles back to her university accommodation, and that any friends who could have come to pick her up were several hours away. 'I was passionate. I was crying.
She told the newspaper she cried in a restroom stall for 10 minutes after feeling that she had no choice but to flush Pebbles.
Last month, UnitedAirlines denied a passenger who wanted to bring her emotional support peacock on a cross-country flight, stating that the animal did not meet size and weight standards. "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", a Spirit Airlines spokesperson told T+L.
Aldecosea is considering suing Spirit Airlines.
Goodman also said that he is an animal lover, but that "some people don't feel that way about animals".
But it's the airlines that decide if the animals are allowed aboard and most carriers, while they will allow more typical emotional support animals such as dogs and cats, won't allow rodents over health and safety concerns. "This must have been a horrific, terrifying death", PETA Senior Vice President Daphna Nachminovitch told Fox News.
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In her account to the Herald, Aldecosea says tried everything imaginable, including renting a vehicle (she says there weren't any available) and reaching out to her friends (they were hours away back at school, she says). After agonising over the decision for a while (and considering hiring a vehicle to drive to Florida) she did the unthinkable: she flushed Pebbles.
She says on the two events she was guaranteed her textured sidekick was fine to fly.
"She's distraught", Goodman said. "It was a awful situation, and she's still distraught".
The woman is reportedly considering filing a lawsuit against the airline.
"A hamster is the most innocuous animal". "No one would have probably even known it was there".
In recent weeks, both United Airlines and Delta have cracked down on the wide range of creatures claimed as therapy pets.
United's update coincided with an incident January 28 when the carrier refused to accept a peacock named Dexter aboard a flight from Newark to Los Angeles.
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