Culture

Someone Flushed An Emotional Support Hamster Down A Toilet Because It Wasn’t Allowed On A Plane

This is animal cruelty.

This story contains descriptions of animal cruelty.

_

2018 has so far featured a surprising number of stories about emotional support animals at airports. Just over a week ago, for example, there was that woman who tried to bring her emotional support peacock on a flight (a request that was, understandably, denied).

We regret to inform you that today’s news takes a darker turn. After a US woman’s emotional support hamster was denied passage on a Spirit Airlines flight, the 21-year-old college student flushed the animal down a toilet.

Why the sudden act of animal cruelty towards an animal she specifically brought to the airport for its emotional significance? Well, Belen Aldecosea told the Miami Herald she “didn’t have any other options”– and she’s actually considering suing the airline, here, like she’s not at fault.

Aldecosea says that when she called Spirit Airlines prior to her flight, a staff member assured her that she could bring her dwarf hamster Pebbles along. When that turned out to be dodgy information, Aldecosea said she panicked.

She was flying home from college due to a medical issue, and didn’t know anyone close to the airport who could collect the hamster, despite the airline booking her on a later flight to give her time to work it out. She tried to rent a car, failed, and claims that an airline staffer recommended she either release the hamster outside or flush it.

“She was scared. I was scared. It was horrifying trying to put her in the toilet,” Aldecosea said. “I was emotional. I was crying. I sat there for a good 10 minutes crying in the stall.”

Spirit Airlines denies that they recommended Aldecosea flush the animal, and told The Guardian that “it is incredibly disheartening to hear this guest reportedly decided to end her own pet’s life.”

And yeah, it is disheartening, and also animal cruelty. Don’t flush live animals, people. What’s wrong with you?