Student Flushed Emotional Support Hamster Down Toilet After Airline Wouldn't Let Animal Travel

The airline denies telling her to kill the animal
Pebbles was a dwarf hamster

A 21-year-old student says she flushed her support hamster down the toilet after an airline wouldn't let her travel with the animal.

According to Florida college student Belen Aldecosea, Spirit Airlines originally told her she would be able to board with Pebbles, but then changed their mind on the day.

Aldecosea says she killed Pebbles after she couldn't find any other way to get home. She claims an airline employee suggested she either flush Pebbles, or release her outside.


The student says she tried - and failed - to hire a car, so decided to kill the animal.

She told The Miami Herald:  "She was scared. I was scared. It was horrifying trying to put her in the toilet.

"I sat there for a good 10 minutes crying in the stall."

The airline mistakenly told the customer she could bring the animal onboard


A spokesperson for Spirit Airlines confirms that the company did mistakenly tell Aldecosea that she could bring Pebbles on the flight, but denied that any company personnel told her to kill the animal.

He said: "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.

"It is incredibly disheartening to hear this guest reportedly decided to end her own pet's life."

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are prepared in the author's capacity and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of Plant Based News itself. 

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PBN Contributor:

Maria is the Editor of Plant Based News. A former magazine editor, newspaper reporter, and features writer, her work has been published by The Guardian, The Huffington Post, and various regional newspapers. She was previously the editor of Vegan Life magazine and Vegan Trade Journal. She has interviewed a huge range of people, from Prime Ministers to authors, activists, pop stars and actors, and enjoys the varied range of topics writing for PBN allows her to tackle. You can follow her on Twitter @MariaChiorando and Instagram @mariachiorando.

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