Florida student Belen Aldecosea who flushed emotional support hamster down toilet branded a 'psychopath'

Martin Coulter
Belen Aldecosea claims airline staff told her to flush her hamster down the toilet

A Florida woman who allegedly flushed her "emotional support hamster" down an airport toilet after it was refused access to a flight has been branded a "psychopath".

The Miami Herald reports that before Belen Aldecosea flew home from college to South Florida, she twice called Spirit Airlines to ensure she could bring Pebbles, her pet dwarf hamster, with her.

But when Ms Aldecosea arrived at the Baltimore airport, Spirit refused to allow the animal onboard.

The 21-year-old told the paper she flushed Pebbles at an airline employee's suggestion, after running out of other options.

A spokesman for Spirit acknowledged the airline mistakenly told Ms Aldecosea that Pebbles was allowed. But he denied that a Spirit employee recommended flushing her pet

But Ms Aldecosea faced furious backlash after sharing her tale.

A number of online critics branded her a "psychopath".

Alara Kitan wrote on Twitter: "I hardly try to weigh in on issues like this but...that girl is the monster responsible for that hamster's death...Don't promote this psychopath like she's a victim."

Another person added: "If that woman really drowned her emotional support hamster so as not to miss a plane, she's a psychopath."

Meanwhile US comedy writer Bess Kalb who worked on Jimmy Kimmel Live! wrote: "Hey, kids born in the 90s. Don't eat the laundry detergent. Don't flush your hamster down the toilet for any reason. Good luck out there!"

A spokesman for Spirit acknowledged the airline mistakenly told Ms Aldecosea that Pebbles would be allowed to fly.

But he denied that an employee recommended flushing her pet down the toilet.

"To be clear, at no point did any of our agents suggest this guest (or any other for that matter) should flush or otherwise injure an animal," spokesman Derek Dombrowski said.

But Ms Aldecosea said she is considering suing Spirit over the conflicting instructions that she claims pressured her into making the decision.

The story comes weeks after an emotional support peacock was denied entrance to a United Airlines flight.

Animal rights organisation PETA said: "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."

Spirit Airlines admitted they had incorrectly told Ms Aldecosea she could bring her hamster onboard but denied any member of staff had advised her to flush it down the toilet.

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