A Woman Claimed Spirit Airlines Suggested She Flush Her Emotional Support Hamster Down The Toilet… So She Did
Dearly beloved, we are gathered here today to honor the short life of Pebbles the dwarf hamster. Pebbles was a good girl, selflessly providing emotional support, fuzzle wuzzles, boopy smooches and whisker nuzzles to her “caregiver” Belen Aldescea. Sadly, according to The Miami Herald, Pebbles’ life was cut short when she was denied entrance to a Spirit Airlines flight from Baltimore to Fort Lauderdale. Pebbles, who selflessly dedicated herself to a life of service, was unceremoniously flushed down the toilet by the very person she had sworn to protect comfort for all of her days; Belen herself.
In lieu of flowers, please send money to Belen’s inevitable GoFund me page as she prepares to take legal action against Spirit, claiming they “forced her” to murder/torture her beloved Pebbles.
Whenever anyone Googles Belen Aldecosea, they're going to see pages and pages of stories about her FLUSHING HER HAMSTER DOWN THE TOILET, because Spirit "told [her] to." For the rest of her life. https://t.co/z0CNCYGBiy
— Zach Honig (@ZachHonig) February 8, 2018
Belen, a 21 year old from Miami Beach, got Pebbles as an emotional support animal after a health scare while attending college in Baltimore. Belen was returning home for follow up treatment for a benign tumor on her neck. Belen claims to have called the airline two times to confirm that Pebbles could accompany her on her flight and was assured that she could (Spirit confirms this part of her story, a rep “misinformed” her). When Belen arrived at the airport, she and Pebbles were checked in by a Spirit employee. As Belen headed to security (she was good to go according to the TSA) another Spirit employee chased her down and told her rodents weren’t allowed on the plane: And noble Pebbles’ fate was sealed.
After hectic discussions, an outraged Aldecosea accepted a flight later that day to try and figure out what to do with Pebbles. But she had no friends or family in town to pick up Pebbles. It was then, Aldecosea insists, that an employee suggested letting Pebbles go free outside or flushing her down the toilet. Spirit vehemently denies anybody told her any such thing.
Belen says that she struggled for HOURS over what to do next. She called a few car rental companies but was told there were no cars available. The bus would have taken too long, and if Belen set Pebbles free, she might freeze to death or get hit by a car.
“I didn’t have any other options,” she said.
“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.”
Holy shit, I can think of a billion workarounds for this. It’s a tiny hamster, stick it down your pants! It’s not like you’re tying to smuggle a peacock! Sneak her on the plane in a soda cup. Call somebody to come get her, you had the time. Put a free hamster sign on the cage and park it over by a Cinnabon. Anything is better than flushing your friend.
Her lawyer Adam Goodman says, as reported by USA Today:
“This obviously wasn’t what Aldecosea wanted to do, but having adults tell her it was OK compounded the situation.
“This was a highly stressful situation and people react in a lot of different ways,” he said. “She’s only 21 years old, a kid still.”
Jesus. The kids are not all right. Not all right at all.
Pic: Belen Aldecosea/Adam Goodman