Chief Victor "Buddy" Amato - Chief of Police for Monmouth County SPCA

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Chief Victor "Buddy" Amato - Chief of Police for Monmouth County SPCA

Shihan Amato is not only the dojo's Shihan, he is also the Chief of Police for the Monmouth County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.

Following is a brief bio of the other side of our Shihan, Chief Buddy Amato.


Chief Amato is responsible for the entire county of Monmouth, NJ...it is a fulltime position and he answers calls 24x7 no matter what time of day. Personally performing at least 75 investigations a month and appearing in all courts in the County of Monmouth, he is present for prosecutions of all chargeable title 4 offenses. Chief Amato has been performing these duties for the last five years; prior to that he was a full time officer and was also a Mounted Police Officer.

Some of his high profile cases are as follows:

  • Tracked down the largest Animal Cruelty case that has been documented in Monmouth County. The man, Appolonia, adopted many cats for the sole purpose of torturing them to death in his apartment in Cliffwood. Chief Amato secured a taped confession along with a written confession and Appolonia was indicted on 19 counts of 3rd degree Animal cruelty and his bail was set for over $200,000 dollars. The case gained national attention and appeared on major news networks and magazines.

  • Secured the arrest and prosecution of a woman who had turned into a cat collector but allowed many of those cats to die in her home (becoming part of the floor due to their extreme decomposition). However, at least 50 cats were saved, the woman was found guilty and the case publicized on local TV channels.

  • Arrested two Santeria members, one of which was a High Priestess, who had mutilated countless chickens/ducks/guinea hens in a religious ritual. This was the first time such a crime was caught in the act.

  • Apprehended a man who was charged with numerous counts of Title 4 Animal Cruelty for the stalking and beating to death with an umbrella of a family of goslings.

  • Rescued animals from the Petco gas explosion that demolished the building, leaving live birds, fish and dogs buried within the rubble. Chief Amato spent over 24 hours on site; the animals that were saved were brought to the Monmouth County SPCA. Chief Amato received an accommodation for his actions.

  • Secured the arrest of two punks who covered a mother groundhog and her pups with gasoline and set them ablaze. Both juveniles were arrested and convicted of the crime.

  • Saved the life of a Yorkshire Terrier who was being choked to death during a domestic dispute by the owner's estranged husband. Chief Amato risked his own safety by disarming the suspect who attacked him with a martial arts weapon. The suspect was handcuffed and arrested and prosecuted, the Yorkie was saved and adopted out by the SPCA where Chief Amato is based.

  • Gained a conviction on 2 people who stalked Canadian Geese with a bow and arrow in an apartment complex. Case took 1 1/2 years but had a successful ending.

  • Gained a guilty plea on a person who trapped a ground hog in a HaveAHart Trap and allowed it to die from lack of food and water. This case was significant because it showed that people who trap animals are responsible for their care afterwards.

  • Tracked down a man who instead of stopping for a group of Canadian geese that were crossing the roadway, decided instead to just plow through them. He killed three and pleaded guilty on arraignment. This case demonstrated to people that when you use your car to do harm to an animal you WILL be held accountable.

  • Prosecuted a man who on Christmas even decided to show his Christmas spirit by shooting his neighbor's cat to death out of his bathroom window. Chief Amato was able to gain a conviction by recovering the weapon, recreating the crime scene and getting a confession out of the suspect.

  • Gained the conviction of a man who took out his vengeance on his dog by kicking it to death. Even though the man used a mental state as a defense, the conviction held because the Chief collected a preponderance of evidence and vet reports that showed the judge the true character of the suspect.

  • Kept on the trail and obtained a conviction of a woman who threw bleach on her neighbor's dogs' faces and head area. Chief Amato collected samples of the bleach and had it tested by Hazmat. The woman was convicted but a Superior Court judge gave the defendant an appeal or retrial because she did not have a lawyer during the first trial. Chief Amato doggedly retried the case, this time with her lawyer, and secured a guilty verdict in 2008.

  • Secured the arrest of a man in Howell who dognapped a NY State troopers dog and returned the canine

  • Oversaw the biggest cock fighting bust in NJ involving over 1,000 fighting cocks in Howell, NJ

These are just a few of the cases that Chief Amato has prosecuted. The Chief has 100s of convictions for all types of animal abuse in the Monmouth County area...there is not a week that goes by where he is not in court defending the voiceless animal victims.

On top of all his investigative work, Chief Amato puts on seminars regarding:

  • Animal abuse at all the local schools

  • Domestic abuse at Women's Shelters

  • Prevention of dog attacks at the Post Offices

Earlier this year Chief Amato received a Community Service Award by the Keansburg Boilger school that was presented by all the children of the town who have been inspired by the Chief's work. His picture also hands in the Keansburg High School Hall of Fame as well.

Impact on Community

Chief Amato's impact on the community is significant. For the past 5 years, the Chief has provided seminars regarding Animal Cruelty Prevention on a regular basis. He talks to the children in the local school districts and informs them on how they should view animals and why it's important to alert an adult whenever they see animal abuse.

In addition, Chief Amato puts on seminars at the Post Offices and Police Academy as well as other law-enforcement agencies like the Park Rangers at Sandy Hook and all town functions that educate the public regarding animal welfare.

One of Victor Buddy Amato's biggest impacts is the weekly column, Buddy's Animal Kingdom, that he has written for the past 5 years. Focusing now on preventing animal abuse and providing excellent care for one's pets, the column is so successful that he receives 100s of phone calls regarding each article that is run. This column appears in one of the oldest Monmouth County Newspapers, the Courier News , as well as in other newspapers.

The children of the area where he runs his other business, Amato's Karate Academy, come to see him every day just to talk to him about all sorts of animal-related problems, ranging from the alligator snapping turtle with the broken shell a boy found at the local neighborhood park to the abandoned dog found wandering a couple of streets over. In conclusion, Chief Amato is available 24x7 to answer his police Nextel in reference to any animal-related problem. All of the police officers in the area know him as someone who NEVER says NO to any problem encountered, including difficulties with pet birth (he's helped over the phone and has physically run out to transport the animal to the animal hospital when necessary). All vet clinics refer to him the problems incurred on a weekly basis.

His impact on the community is profound and deeply appreciated by all area residents.

589 Palmer Ave, Keansburg, NJ 07734
Serving the Karate and Martial Arts Needs of the Middletown,
Hazlet, Holmdel, Keyport, Keansburg, and Monmouth County Areas
(732) 671-9555
Directions to our Karate Martial Arts studio