US Airline rejects claim student was forced to flush hamster down toilet

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Goodman said this clearly wasn't what Aldecosea needed to do, yet having grown-ups reveal to her it was OK exacerbated the circumstance. After arriving at Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport on november 21, everything seemed to be going as planned until a Spirit Airlines employee approached her saying the animal was not allowed, Goodman says.

Ms Aldecosca has said that she is considering suing the company over the conflicting instructions that pressured her into making the decision. The airline reportedly told her it was no problem on the phone, but upon her arrival at the gate at the Baltimore airport, the staff seemed to be singing a different tune. This begs the question: If her flight could have been exchanged for a later departure, what made her time so valuable that she had to kill Pebbles? She says an airline representative suggested she could flush the hamster or let it go outside.

With her flight boarding soon, Aldecosea decided she didn't want to let the hamster go free where it could freeze or possibly starve to death. Was flushing the animal down the toilet really the only option here?

Ms Aldocosea said Pebbles was "scared" and described putting the hamster down the toilet as "horrifying". "I was emotional. 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.

A spokesman for Spirit acknowledged the airline mistakenly told Aldecosea that Pebbles was allowed on the flight.

Aldecosea says she tried to rent a vehicle, take a Greyhound bus and arrange for a shipping company to transport her pet but that none of those options panned out.

However, flushing a living being down a toilet is not only cruel but also illegal.

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Spirit has since owned up to giving Aldecosea the wrong information but a spokesperson denied that anyone suggested such a awful deed.

It doesn't appear that the student is facing any charges.

But according, the U.S. Transportation Safety Administration, hamsters are allowed to cross through security.

Under America's Air Carrier Access Act, certain emotional support animals are allowed to travel with their owners on flights, as long as the pet has the right documentation, isn't a threat and doesn't interfere with others.

Aldecosea had a note from her doctor explaining the need for the hamster. Although the growth turned out to be benign, she was flying home in the hopes that it would be surgically removed.

"She was so loving".

"She was scared. I was scared", Aldecosea told the paper.

The 21-year-old got the hamster in 2017 after she developed a large, painful growth on her neck leading to fears of a cancer diagnosis.