PETA Wants Cruelty-to-Animals Charges for Accused Hopkins Fire Starter

For Immediate Release:
October 1, 2021

Nicole Meyer 202-483-7382

Mendocino County, Calif. – This morning, PETA sent a letter to Mendocino County District Attorney C. David Eyster asking that he add cruelty-to-animals charges to those that Devin Lamar Johnson currently faces for allegedly igniting the Hopkins fire, which ravaged more than 250 acres, leveled dozens of homes—killing birds, cats, and dogs left inside—and undoubtedly caused countless other animals to burn to death.

The group writes in its letter that causing animals to suffer and die painfully, as in the case of this fire, needs to be recognized as a violation of California’s animal protection laws. The letter details how the fire killed finches, parakeets, and parrots and, according to residents’ social media posts, at least three dogs and two cats. Additional cats were severely burned and required veterinary treatment.

“An enormous number of terrified animals, both wild and domestic, saw their world disappear and many were burned to death in this devastating blaze,” says PETA Vice President Daniel Paden. “PETA hopes the person responsible is charged for causing them so much suffering.”

PETA made a similar request in the case of an accused arsonist connected to the Almeda fire in Oregon—and that man now faces eight counts of first-degree animal abuse for allegedly causing the deaths of a sheep, a canary, a lamb, a goldfish, chickens, and a raccoon.

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to abuse in any way”—opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview. For more information on PETA’s investigative newsgathering and reporting, please visit or follow the group on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.

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 Ingrid E. Newkirk

“Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights?” READ MORE

— Ingrid E. Newkirk, PETA President and co-author of Animalkind