Hamster with toilet paper. Photo: europhoto (Getty).
What would you do if someone told you to flush your pet? And for the hell of it, let’s say you have a doctor’s note to take this pet places pets wouldn’t normally be allowed to go. Well, that’s what happened to a young college student trying to get home for the holidays.
On her way back from school to South Florida, Belen Aldecosea was faced with quite the dilemma. The student, who had a doctor-certified emotional support animal, was told twice that her hamster would be allowed on the flight. She even made it through check-in before being told the animal would not be allowed on the plane.
A similar story like this happened in New Jersey recently, when a woman tried to bring her support peacock on a flight. Luckily for the other passengers, she was turned away. But Spirit Airlines decided being turned away wasn’t enough for this tiny hamster. Instead, they (allegedly) told her to flush her pet down the toilet.
Distraught, and unable to rent a car to take the animal back to the dorms, she wrestled with either letting it go at the airport or flushing it. She chose the latter because she wanted her hamster, Pebbles, to have a quick death. Hopefully, for Pebbles’ sake, it was.
The Miami Herald posted this video of Belen detailing the ordeal:
Belen is now suing Spirit Airlines, although the airline strongly denies anyone told her to flush her pet. I don’t know how much hamsters cost, but I’ll bet they settle out of court. Especially when her attorney Adam Goodman had this to say in light of recent, similar circumstances:
This wasn’t a giant peacock that could pose a danger to other passengers. This was a tiny cute harmless hamster that could fit in the palm of her hand
We really need to get all the airlines together to come up with a uniform list of what animals are and are not allowed on planes. Dogs, cats, rodents, lizards should be allowed. Peacocks, spiders and snakes should not be allowed. OK, snakes are probably fine, it would just be annoying to hear all the Snakes on a Plane jokes that would be made. In the interest of these animals and their owners, airlines need to get their collective act together. We can all agree that there are far worse seatmates on a plane ride than a person with a hamster.