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This Student Was Allegedly Pressured Into Flushing Her Emotional Support Hamster Down The Toilet By A Spirit Airlines Employee

By Nadine / vendredi 9 février 2018 10:00
We’ll be pouring one out for Pebbles the hamster this weekend; the tragic FML that sent the rodent down the drain.

The emotional support sagas continue, and each week we think it’s going to be some other ridiculous request. So what is it this time? An ostrich? A hyena? An Elephant?? No, in the case of Belen Aldecosea, it was nothing but a dwarf hamster.

That’s right, a dwarf hamster. Meaning smaller-than-average hamster. A hamster that, according to Wikipedia, is the smallest of the three species of hamster in the genus Phodopus, averaging under 2 centimetres at birth and growing to only about 5 centimeters. We could not imagine something being less of an inconvenience to anyone on board the Spirit flight of which Pebbles the hamster was denied.

According to the Fox News article, Aldecosea says she was pressured by a Spirit employee to flush her hamster down the toilet when the pet was denied entry. Aldecosea also said she “considered letting Pebbles run free outside but could not bear thinking of her hamster freezing to death or getting hit.” Couldn’t bear the idea of her pet freezing to death or being hit by a car, but she could bear the idea of killing the hamster herself, and subjecting it to what was possibly the slowest and most agonizing death?

We’re not sure who we’re more mad at, Spirit for denying the animal on the plane (whether or not they actually suggested she flush the animal, denying this two centimeter animal space on board the plane is ridiculous,) or the pets’ owner who actually took the time to think of a solution to her issue, and ultimately decided that flushing the animal to its death was the best option. Critical thinking and problem solving are clearly not your area, Aldecosea.

The worst part of the story is that Pebbles was indeed certified by a doctor as an emotional support pet. Aldecosea got the pet to keep her company when she developed a growth in her neck when she while attending school in Pennsylvania.

“She (Pebbles) was so loving. It was like she knew I needed somebody,” Aldecosea said.

Well, it seems like Pebbles could not say the same for her owner.

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By  WeirdUS  |  22

Poor hamster, can't believe she flushed the little creature that gave her emotional support during such a hard time in her life. I also find it hard to believe that if she was traveling with a support animal she didn't have some sort of documentation stating that it was.

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By  WeirdUS  |  22

Poor hamster, can't believe she flushed the little creature that gave her emotional support during such a hard time in her life. I also find it hard to believe that if she was traveling with a support animal she didn't have some sort of documentation stating that it was.

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  maikeru1979  |  17

she did. you are required to carry the doctors notice stating that the animal is an Emotional Support animal. I have seen them. they sorta look like a Social Security Card but states..this __(animal type and name) is an Emotional Support pet for __(whomever owns the animal).
The airline DIDN'T CARE
E.S.A. are allowed anywhere, other than restaurants and other businesses that serve food. Only service animals for handicapped people are allowed there.

By  RichardPencil  |  25

Spirit Airlines is always nickel-and-diming the passengers! What was the Rodent Flush Fee? About 11 bucks? Right between the Table Unlock Fee and the Coffee Stirrer Surcharge.

By  ashwednesday  |  12

I was clicking around YouTube the other day and I across a video of an abused puppy being rehabilitated by a humane society that was simultaneously incredibly depressing and incredibly uplifting which led me down a rabbit hole of videos of animal shelters treating horribly abused animals. I busted out the hard stuff at some point and ended my evening passed out drunk. Now, every time I go on YouTube, it suggests videos of vets treating terribly injured animals. Just launch the nukes. Humanity sucks.

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  julfunky  |  22

No, humanity doesn’t suck. Certain humans do. More people love animals (or at least treat them humanely) than they do abuse them.

Nukes aren’t necessary; making animal abuse as much a crime as it is to hurt a person is.

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  CoyoteOldOne  |  14

The people that suck may seem like they are everywhere, but we also tend to _notice_ them more. That's the way our brains work - they are more likely to remember bad experiences and feelings, so we can avoid them in the future. Good stuff, if it's just _normal_ good stuff, like people _not_ kicking dogs or feeding their kids rat poison doesn't register so much on our attention.

Newspapers and websites, that make their living off of advertising, are also more likely to show you things with shock value, because it gets people to look at/click on things. We don't have much news where someone does a good deed, because "millions of people take decent care of their housepets" doesn't generate as much viewer traffic as "family arrested for making child eat a puppy."

By  julfunky  |  22

I imagine a conversation like this:
Owner: “If I can’t bring it on the plane then what am I supposed to do with him?”
Airline: “I don’t know, flush him down the toilet for all I care, you just can’t bring him on the plane.”
Owner: *proceeds to take words literally*

By  Taurus_ChicKa  |  30

I am in actual tears right now. That's terrible. Seriously, why the hell would they deny this tiny animal access? Maybe they were afraid it would get loose and run around, but hamster cages are small or it could even be put in one of those rolling ball things and held in the owner's lap. And if the animal was a certified support pet, then the airline was in the wrong. Still, the owner should not have done that. How did it not traumatize her, killing her own spirit animal? I would have refused to go on the flight.

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  CoyoteOldOne  |  14

When your brain is misfiring, it's hard to know why, hard to convince someone your problem is real and physical, and not something you are making up, or a failure of character.

We don't know anywhere near as much about brains, and disorders of the brain, as we need to.

Sometimes stuff happens to someone's brain as a result of injury, or a genetic quirk, or for reasons utterly unknown, that can turn them schizophrenic. Or give them mood swings. Or anxiety. People who have suffered serious trauma often develop PTSD, which changes their brains permanently. The effects are unpredictable.

You never know what might actually help someone with a disorder like that. Might be medication. Or meditation. Or carrying a piece of blanket. Or having a goddamn support hamster.

I'm know there's people who pretend an animal is a support animal just so they can take it places it wouldn't be welcome.

But there are also people who _really_ have an animal that helps them with some condition, just by its presence, even.

So what we could be seeing is not a stupid, irresponsible pet owner. We could be seeing a person who has panic attacks or anxiety, who had the only thing that helps them cope about to be yanked away. Which would trigger the panic attacks or anxiety. Which would make them irrational and make mistakes.

And then the internet gets their chance to poke fun and use them as entertainment and hold them up for ridicule, because that's grownup fun-time, apparently.

The hamster, by the way, was most likely briefly confused, then passed out from oxygen deprivation within a few seconds, and was dead. This woman is going to be hearing about this for a long time.

I'm going to go with sympathy for the live human over the dead hamster. The hamster is now beyond pain. And as for PETA: When they stop murdering their shelter animals at a rate of 85% and up, which is insane compared to any other organization, maybe they get an opinion then.

By  Vaella  |  12

The poor little thing, he didnt deserve that. I would have pretended to flush it but actually put in a pocket or something. No way in hell would someone make me kill my own pet.

By  HeatherD1985  |  2

completely f***** up and unnecessary, the poor little thing but my biggest question I am surprised nobody has asked about or said is the fact she has a hamster as a support animal. Do people not realize those things live a year-and-a-half to two at the very most? How much support is she really going to get if her pets keep dying after such a short period. It would be in a cycle of being depressed, getting a hamster, and it dying after a year-and-a-half

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