We’re only a month into 2018 and we already have a strong contender for the weirdest, most outrageous news story of the year. People are up in arms after a woman revealed she flushed her beloved ‘emotional support hamster’ down the toilet at the airport after she was told it couldn’t come on her flight.
Pebbles (RIP) was the name of the late dwarf hamster owned by 21-year-old Belen Aldecosea, from south Florida.
She says she’d been assured in advance that her emotional support animal could fly with her for her flight home back in November but after a Spirit Airlines employee told her the animal couldn’t come aboard, she panicked.
After hours of indecision – when she considered letting Pebbles loose outside the airport and after unsuccessful attempts to rent a car – Belen decided to go with the flushing option. Say what?!?!
Warning: Her account of how it all went down is pretty damned depressing.
“She was scared. I was scared. It was horrifying trying to put her in the toilet,” Belen told the Miami Herald. “I sat there for a good 10 minutes crying in the stall.”
The student even claims it was the airline employee who suggested flushing away the animal – but a spokesman for the airline strongly denies this.
Derek Dombrowski, from Spirit Airlines, told the Guardian: “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.”
As you can probably imagine, there’s been a furious reaction from animal lovers online.
Caroline McCarthy tweeted: “I may simply be a misanthrope who likes animals more than I like people but frankly the hamster toilet flusher woman deserves zero sympathy and should be charged with animal cruelty. I don’t care if you claim someone told you to kill your pet. You do not kill your pet.”
Actor Rob Lowe even chimed even with: “’Had to’?!! Someone put a gun to her head?!”
And animal rights group Peta added: “Ridiculous! Flushing a living being down a toilet is not only cruel but also illegal, & both the person who killed this animal & Spirit Airlines—if an employee did, in fact, advise the woman to drown the hamster—should be charged. This must have been a horrific, terrifying death.”
I really didn’t think I would ever have to write but here goes nothing: HEY YOUNG PEOPLE! DON’T FLUSH ANIMALS DOWN THE TOILET!