Every one of her companions were hours away at her then-college Wilson College in Chambersburg, Pennsylvania.
The airline denies telling her to flush an animal down a toilet.
She considered letting Pebbles loose outside, but feared that the animal would either freeze to death or be hit by a auto. The girl stuck her living, breathing, little fluff ball of a hamster in a toilet in the airport bathroom and flushed her straight to her grave.
"She was scared. I was scared".
"She was scared. I was scared". 'I was passionate. I was crying. "I sat there for a good 10 minutes crying in the stall", Aldecosea recounts.
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Aldecosea said her doctor certified her hamster as an emotional support animal and she had the certificate with her to prove the authenticity of it. "When the Guest appeared with the hamster at the airport, our agents offered and the Guest accepted an opportunity to take a later flight, so she had time to find other accommodations for the animal".
Aldecosea, 21, told the Miami Herald that a representative from Spirit Airlines suggested she flush Pebbles down a toilet so she can continue with her travel, but the airline denied this.
Animal rights group PETA has called on criminal charges to be brought against those involved in Pebbles' "horrific, terrifying death".
So far, it does not appear that the student is facing any charges.
But the decision whether or not to allow some animals and not others is a decision left, ultimately, up to the airlines.
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Missing a flight can be quite a hassle for your average passenger, but for Pebbles - an emotional support dwarf hamster owned by Belen Aldecosea - it was downright deadly. Are you buying her sob story??
"She was so loving".
She later transferred to Maryville College, joining their team as middle/right side, but dropped out after developing the neck cyst and is now a student at Texas State University.
Aldecosea said she spent hours scrambling to find another way to get home, including trying to rent a auto.
Emotional support animals have become a controversial issue for USA airlines over recent years.
However, when she proceeded to the security checkpoint, she says she was stopped by a Spirit agent who told her she couldn't bring her hamster, even though it had been previously confirmed as permissible.
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