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The Morning Brew: Airlines and emotional support hamsters are a bad mix

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The sad end of an emotional support hamster


In what seems like news from The Onion, a woman claims a Spirit Airline employee told her to flush her emotional support hamster "Pebbles" down a toilet when she showed up at Baltimore-Washington International for a recent flight.

A college student flushed her pet hamster down a toilet after Spirit Airlines wouldn't let her fly with the animal, according to her attorney.

The student said a Spirit Airlines employee suggested she flush Pebbles, her hamster, the student's lawyer, Adam Goodman said. The airline denies that was the case.

Spirit had given Belen Aldecosea a green light to bring the hamster on board, a Nov. 29 email from Spirit showed.

"Belen, I can't begin to enough apologize that our agent was unable to provide you with the correct information regarding animals allowed on-board our aircraft," the Spirit representative wrote.

When she arrived at Baltimore-Washington International Airport in late November, the airline wouldn't let her bring Pebbles with her on board.

Spirit denied that one of its employees suggested that she flush the hamster.

Spirit hit back at the claims, which some on Twitter have called a stunt. 

Spirit Airlines hit back hard against Belen Aldecosea’s claim that she had no choice but to kill her “emotional support animal” Pebbles in order to get home to her family in Florida. In a statement the airline 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.”

 RIP, Pebbles  

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Related Photos
Moore, OK., Friday, April 29, 2005. Anna Morrison 16 a 10th grader  at the VISTA Academy in Moore. Holds, Laverne, a hamster used in animal behavioral studies. Staff photo by Jaconna Aguirre.

Moore, OK., Friday, April 29, 2005. Anna Morrison 16 a 10th grader at the VISTA Academy in Moore. Holds, Laverne, a hamster used in animal behavioral studies. Staff photo by Jaconna Aguirre.

<figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-e3b0ecd7d15fe0f6c269774d3d8903ae.jpg" alt="Photo - Moore, OK., Friday, April 29, 2005. Anna Morrison 16 a 10th grader at the VISTA Academy in Moore. Holds, Laverne, a hamster used in animal behavioral studies. Staff photo by Jaconna Aguirre." title="Moore, OK., Friday, April 29, 2005. Anna Morrison 16 a 10th grader at the VISTA Academy in Moore. Holds, Laverne, a hamster used in animal behavioral studies. Staff photo by Jaconna Aguirre."><figcaption>Moore, OK., Friday, April 29, 2005. Anna Morrison 16 a 10th grader at the VISTA Academy in Moore. Holds, Laverne, a hamster used in animal behavioral studies. Staff photo by Jaconna Aguirre.</figcaption></figure>
Matt Patterson

Matt Patterson has been with The Oklahoman since 2006. Prior to joining the news staff in 2010, Patterson worked in The Oklahoman's sports department for five years. He previously worked at The Lawton Constitution and The Edmond Sun.... Read more ›

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