Belen Aldecosea, 21, accuses heart Airlines of leading to her to flush her pet hamster down a toilet ~ the agency refused come let her lug the pets on a flight.

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A beloved pets hamster that was purged down a toilet has come to be the latest controversial instance in airline versus people seeking to travel with emotional support animals.

Belen Aldecosea, 21, top top Thursday accused soul Airlines of bring about her come tearfully do the washing up Pebbles the hamster under a toilet in an airplane bathroom after the agency refused come let her bring the pet on a trip as one emotional support animal, according to lawyer Adam Goodman.

Belen Aldecosea holds her pet hamster, Pebbles.Courtesy Belen Aldecosea

Aldecosea made the an option after soul staffers allegedly told her prior to her expedition that she could carry her pet and also later refuse to let the pet on her flight at Baltimore–Washington worldwide Airport ~ above Nov. 21, Goodman said.

“This is a awful situation. We hope the no one ever before has to go through a case like this,” that told NBC News Thursday. “This is a really tiny, little innocuous animal that doesn’t reason problems. Really, the airlines and TSA do not do it have offered her any type of problems around it if she had the ideal medical documentation.”

Goodman said that Aldecosea was told by phone call by one airline employee that she could fly with Pebbles as an emotional support animal, yet then would certainly not let she on the trip with her hamster.

Aldecosea is alleging that an airline representative then said she do the washing up the pet down a toilet, according to Goodman. The university student had some ongoing medical issues and needed to capture a flight home come Florida, he said. Aldecosea had a benign, however painful expansion on her neck and was traveling to Florida due to the fact that she to be withdrawing native school and also having the growth looked in ~ by a doctor, the said.

Belen AldecoseaCourtesy Belen Aldecosea

She was a student at Wilson college in Pennsylvania at the time and is currently a student in Texas, the said.

She tried to find alternative modes the travel, yet Aldecosea is also young to rent a automobile on she own and also there was a absence of other choices because of the Thanksgiving holiday, Goodman said, leaving the young woman with a “horrendous” decision come make.

“Spirit told her what to do. She assumed she was complying with the rules,” the said. “Ultimately, the airline didn’t administer what they stated they were going to administer for her.”

Spirit airlines strongly denied the allegation that an employee argued she flush the hamster.

“After researching this incident, we can say confidently the at no suggest did any kind of of our agents suggest this Guest (or any other for that matter) need to flush or otherwise injure an animal,” airline spokesman Derek Dombrowski stated in a statement come NBC News.

“It is exceptionally disheartening come hear this Guest reportedly chose to end her own pet’s life,” the declare added.

Related: Emotional support peacock denied trip by joined Airlines

Spirit"s spokesman stated that a reservation representative “unfortunately, walk misinform the Guest that a hamster was permitted to fly as an emotionally support pet on heart Airlines.”

The airline said once Aldecosea showed up come the airport through the hamster agents offered her the possibility to take it a later flight “so she had time to uncover other accommodations because that the animal.”

Spirit Airlines claims on that is website that it "does no accept snakes, other reptiles, rodents, ferrets, and spiders."

Dombrowski stated Aldecosea was initially scheduled to take a 10:39 a.m. Flight on Nov. 21 however ended up acquisition a trip at 7:42 p.m. Instead.

Aldecosea take it the later trip without further incident, the said. Dombrowski added that the airline offered Aldecosea a voucher, but never heard ago from her.

Goodman stated he and Aldecosea were “going to look into all legal remedies and make a decision.”

Aldecosea said the Miami Herald that the entirety ordeal was "horrifying."

“I to be emotional. I was crying. Ns sat there because that a great 10 minute crying in the stall," she said.

Related: Delta sets new guidelines on business animals allowed on board

The hamster incident came after ~ a different airline turned far an emotional support peacock at a new Jersey airport last month. United Airlines claimed the bird go not satisfy its guidelines.

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New Delta pet policy has hair flying among passengers and animal lovers

Jan. 29, 201802:30
Also in January, Delta airlines issued new requirements as soon as it concerns emotional assistance animals.

The room of Transportation"s guidelines for air travel through service pets states "unusual animals are evaluate on a case by situation basis" and also that airlines may exclude pets that space too big or hefty to accommodate in the trip cabin, attitude a straight threat to the wellness or safety and security of others, could cause a significant disruption of business or room prohibited native entering a foreign country.

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Airlines are likewise never required to accept snakes, reptiles, rodents, ferrets, or spiders.