Aldecosea told the Herald that, out of options and with her flight boarding soon, she considered just letting Pebbles free but felt it was more humane to flush the animal than let it run around in the cold, only to get hit by a vehicle. According to the Miami Herald, a woman flushed her "emotional support hamster" down the loo at the airport after she was told that the animal would not be permitted to fly.
No problem, the airline told her.
21-year-old Aldecosea wanted to fly home because she was dealing with health problems at school, but she was too young to rent a auto, Goodman told CNBC.
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Aldecosea is now considering filing a lawsuit against Spirit for conveying mistaken information that ultimately pushed her to flush her hamster down the toilet. "It was horrifying trying to put her in the toilet", Aldecosea told the local newspaper.
2018 has so far featured a surprising number of stories about emotional support animals at airports.
Aldecosea, who acquired the animal after a cancer scare says she had a doctor's note certifying Pebbles' status as such. Last month, United Airlines denied access on its flight from Newark to LA to an "emotional support peacock", despite its owner offering to buy the bird its own plane ticket. Would she have killed that animal, too? "I sat there for a decent 10 minutes crying in the slow down".
But once at the airport, Belen's pet Pebbles was denied entry onto the flight. "I was emotional. I was crying". She said she exhausted all of her other options and had no choice but the fly to get back home in time for a medical appointment.
She considered letting Pebbles loose outside, but feared that the animal would either freeze to death or be hit by a vehicle.
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"She was scared. I was scared". Her friends were hours away at campus, so she could not ask them to pick Pebbles up.
But according, the U.S. Transportation Safety Administration, hamsters are allowed to cross through security.
"Hamsters are welcome in our checkpoint", the agency said in a statement.
Rodents are banned by most of the leading companies because of health and safety issues.
Airlines are convinced that some emotional support animals abuse the rules, especially when most passengers often have to pay $125 or more each way to bring a small pet on board.
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