Pebble's owner, Belen Aldecosea was scheduled to fly from Baltimore to her home in Florida on Spirit Airlines. But when she arrived to the airport several days later, she was told rodents weren't allowed on board with passengers and Pebbles could not be stored in cargo.
Belen Aldecosea, right, says Spirit Airlines pressured her to flush Pebbles, her pet hamster, down an airport toilet.
The student went on to say that she didn't want to set Pebbles free because she didn't want her to die that way.
"One of the representatives started giving me little tips like, 'Oh you should just leave her, or flush her down the toilet, '" Aldecosea said. "I sat there for a good 10 minutes crying in the stall", the Florida college student told the newspaper. I was emotional. I was crying.
Spirit Airlines has firmly denied that their employee told Aldecosea to flush or release her pet.
The US Transportation Safety Administration has no problem with carry-on hamsters.
In an interview with the Miami Herald Ms Aldecosea said she made the decision to flush her pet after hours of indecision and unsuccessful attempts to rent a vehicle. To compensate her for the loss, the airline ultimately offered Aldecosea a voucher for a free flight, which she declined. "Flushing a living being down a toilet isn't just brutal yet in addition illicit, and both the individual who executed this animals and Spirit Airlines - if a worker did, truth be told, encourage the lady to suffocate the hamster - ought to be charged". The airline said yes, according to the Miami Herald.
Goodman told the Herald: "This wasn't a giant peacock that could pose a danger to other passengers".
Most major U.S. airlines, however, don't allow rodents on flights over concerns about health and safety. But, we're still not completely clear why Pebbles' was flushed down the toilet but, what is for sure is that anyone wanting to fly with a furry friend might be better off finding alternative methods of travel. The carrier said going with Pebbles was fine, however when Aldecosea got to the air terminal, that changed. The growth turned out to be benign, but lonely and living away from home on campus in Pennsylvania she needed companionship. For hours, Aldecosea said, she struggled with what to do.
Aldecosea obtained Pebbles during a cancer scare that happened her freshman year at Wilson College in Chambersburg, Pennsylvania. She also considered taking a Greyhound bus. The 21-year old was scared and did not even have any other option, so she had to take the traumatic decision. Such moves have been supported by the union representing flight attendants, which said in a statement that the workers struggle to cope with issues like "biting, aggression, urination, defecation, allergic reactions, conflict and other disruptions".