Cohasset Man Faces Charges After Reportedly Shooting Neighbor’s Cats
A man in Cohasset has been charged with animal cruelty after being accused of shooting two of his neighbor’s pet cats.
“I have this little memorial set-up to Olivia because I was never able to get her body,” says Pam Dowell as she looks at trinkets made in the likeness of a black and white cat.
Dowell says she’s always been a cat lover. One day, two of her cats, Olivia and Emerald, went missing along with her neighbor’s family cat, Pumpkin. Dowell went to the police after she heard a voice recording of her neighbor, Steven Mishow, admit to shooting the cats.
According to a police report, Mishow later admitted to investigators that he did hate cats and would shoot at them for coming on his property, but he only admitted to shooting two of the three missing cats. He said that even though he shot at them, he didn’t mean to kill them. He’s been charged with three counts of animal cruelty, including one felony count. If convicted, the maximum penalty is two years in prison or a $5,000 fine.
“I care for and love my pets. I take great pride in my neighborhood. I think this was a senseless act of violence,” says Dowell.
“It’s hard to believe that someone would do that to a pet and that a neighbor would do that. My kids really cared about our cat,” says Jackie Jordan, Pam’s neighbor who also had a pet that went missing.
We reached out to Mishow to get his side of the story. He refused to go on camera but gave a statement saying: “Dean Scherf has talked to Pam on more than one occasion about feeding feral cats and they have attracted a bear and skunks. The city of Cohasset is in the know of what Dean Scherf has talked to Pam about.”
Dean Scherf is the Security Officer of the City of Cohasset. In a phone interview, he says the city is intending to stay neutral in the case and is leaving the investigation up to the police. He also wants to reiterate the city does not have a feral cat problem.
Scherf says, “Steven had a problem with the neighbor feeding feral cats and what not, and I had a conversation with him and I just told him the city doesn’t regulate what animals you can feed and what animals you don’t. It’s been charged accordingly, and we’ll see the outcome when it’s all said and done.”
Mishow gave us his lawyer’s number for further comments. We reached out to the law office who told us they have dropped Mishow as client due to a conflict of interest. He will now be assigned a public defender.
“Animal Folks Minnesota” has also gotten involved in the case. When asked for comment, Ann Olson of Animal House gave us a statement reading: “Crimes against animals must be taken seriously. Not only can the incident result in pain, suffering, or death for the animal, these types of crimes can escalate to violence against humans.”
Dowell has now put her house up for sale. She hopes by sharing her story, people will understand it’s against Minnesota law to kill people’s pets.
“If you believe a pet or an animal is a nuisance, you have the duty and obligation to call law enforcement or animal control. You do not have the right to pick up a gun,” says Dowell.
Mishow says he would be willing to go on camera after his court date. He’s scheduled to appear in front of a judge on December 27th.