Belen Aldecosea claimed to be a Spirit Airlines employee suggested she flush her emotional support hamster, Pebbles (center), in the toilet, after the rodent was refused on board.
A student who claimed to be a Spirit Airlines employee suggested she flush her emotional support of the hamster in the toilet — and did so — now has a new pet hamster, her lawyer said.
Belen Aldecosea, 21, of Miami Beach, Fla., told the Miami Herald that they are considering legal action against the airline after she rinsed her dwarf hamster, Pebbles, in the toilet on Nov. 21, 2017, at the suggestion of a Spirit Airlines employee.
The Student who says that they flushed the hamster down the toilet in Spirit Airlines flap has a replacement of rodents, lawyer says https://t.co/UwoyMQ19kS
— USA TODAY (@USATODAY) February 9, 2018
She said that the airline initially told her that it was good to her furry friend on the flight, but learned otherwise when they tried to board the plane.
SPIRIT AIRLINE EMPLOYEE TOLD THE STUDENT TO FLUSH OUT EMOTIONAL SUPPORT OF THE HAMSTER IN THE TOILET, A STUDENT CLAIMS
The young woman said a Spirit Airlines employee advised her to make it rodent free, in the wild, or in the toilet. Aldecosea tried to rent a car instead, but was too young to do that. Her friends live too far away to come pick up Pebbles, so, running out of options, she did what she thought was the most humane: She rinsed her beloved pet hamster down the toilet.
“She was afraid. I was afraid of. It was awful trying to get her in the toilet,” Aldecosea told the Miami Herald. “I was emotional. I was crying. I sat there for a good 10 minutes crying in the barn.”
Adam Goodman, Aldecosea’s lawyer, told USA Today that he believed that the student, even though there was no evidence of an employee advised her to get rid of the rodents.
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“It’s hard, but you should also look at the circumstances, because this whole thing only makes sense with someone to tell her (the rinsing of the animal),” Goodman told the newspaper USA Today. “This is a situation where there is no body cameras or whatever.”
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Goodman claimed adults advises his client on what to do — in this case, the Spirit of the worker, it was difficult for her to make a different decision due to her age.
“This was a very stressful situation and people react in a lot of different ways,” he said. “She is only 21 years old, a child still.”
Goodman, however, revealed that his client has a new hamster, but she is still angry about the debacle.
“She is distraught,” Goodman said. “Imagine that someone in that situation to make a choice like that. It was a terrible situation, and she’s still upset.”
Goodman said that he and Aldecosea is considering filing a lawsuit against Spirit Airlines.
“A hamster is the most innocent animal. It is locked up in a cage,” Goodman said. “No one would have probably not even known it was there.”
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It was not immediately clear what Aldecosea called her the new support of the hamster. Fox News reached for a response to Goodman about the incident.
After the story broke, PETA Senior Vice President Daphna Nachminovitch sentenced the young woman decides to flush the pet down the toilet.
“One phone call can save this animal, or a kind person at the airport could have helped,” Nachminovitch told Fox News. “The rinse cycle of a living being by the toilet is not only cruel but also illegal, and both the person who is the life of this animal and Spirit Airlines — when an employee is, in fact, advise the woman to drown, the hamster should be charged. This must have been a horrible, terrifying death.”
Spirit Airlines spokesman Derek Dombrowski told Fox News that the employee is informed Aldecosea by saying Pebbles was allowed on the flight, but denied that a worker suggested she rinse the rodents in the toilet.
“After the investigation of this incident, we can say with confidence that at no time did any of our agents suggest that this guest (or any other) must be flush or otherwise injure an animal. It is incredibly sad to hear this guest allegedly decided to put an end to her own pet’s life,” Dombrowski told Fox News.
Aldecosea said Stones doctor approved emotional support animal that helped her when she got a growth in her neck, while at school at Wilson College in Chambersburg, Pennsylvania. The student said that they bought Bricks for a company.
“She (Pebbles) was so sweet. It was as if she knew that I needed someone,” Aldecosea said.