Belen Aldecosea, 21, said that she called before her flight and was told that she could bring her hamster on the Baltimore to Ft. Lauderdale flight but when she got to the airport in Baltimore she was told by a Spirit airline employee that she cannot bring the hamster on board and was told to either set it free outside or flush it down the toilet.
Aldecosea, said she could not live with herself if she let the tiny hamster go out on the cold and the thought of the hamster being run over was too much for her, so she took the other option and flushed her flush her beloved pet down the toilet in an airport toilet.
“It was horrible,” Aldecosea said. “I sat in a stall for about 15 minutes and just cried and cried.”
Aldecosea, said that she got the hamster to deal with stress and anxiety from an operation and that the hamster was certified by a doctor as an emotional support animal.
Spirit Airlines did confirm that their reservation representative mistakenly told Aldecosea hamster could accompany her on the flight out of BWI (Baltimore-Washington International airport.)
Spirit denies that a Spirit employee advised her to either set her hamster loose or flush it.
“We can say confidently that at no point did any of our agents suggest this guest (or any other for that matter) should flush or otherwise injure an animal,” Spirit spokesman Derek Dombrowski said. “It is incredibly disheartening to hear this guest reportedly decided to end her own pet’s life.”
According to their policy, Spirit does allow some emotional support pets However, Spirit does not allow rodents, snakes, other reptiles, ferrets, and spiders. (Not so sure about Peacocks)
According to Aldecosea’s attorney, Adam Goodman, she is now considering a lawsuit against the airline.
“We’re going to explore all legal avenues,” Goodman said. “This wasn’t a dangerous animal. She had to take a very unfortunate action. It’s very sad.”
When asked about flushing her beloved pet, Aldecosea said she made the more humane choice. “It was either I let her out into the street to get squished and bloody before my eyes, or she gets eaten by some animal.”
Aldecosea says she tried to rent a car, take a Greyhound bus and arrange for a shipping company to transport her pet but that none of those options panned out.