PETA Urges DA To File Animal Cruelty Charges Against Man Arrested For Sparking Fire

A Shasta County man accused of intentionally starting a fire on Millville Plains on October 25th already had plenty of people mad at him. Now PETA is after him too. 29-year-old Caleb Michael Eckert is accused of starting the Dersch Fire on Leopard Drive off Millville Plains Road. He was apparently angry with his girlfriend and lit her car on fire so she couldn’t leave. The fire was contained after burning 133 acres and several structures. Eckert remains in Shasta County Jail on charges of domestic violence and probation violations. He’s being held without bail, with a plea disposition set for Tuesday. If arson charges are filed, they’ll be more severe than usual because the area was under a state of emergency. People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals has sent a letter to District Attorney Stephanie Bridgett requesting animal cruelty charges to be included against Eckert for causing “Countless wild animals to endure terror, suffering, and a prolonged, agonizing death.” A similar request in September led to animal abuse charges against an accused arsonist in Oregon.