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To report abuse or neglect you need to know what to look for

he Henneke Body Condition Scoring System, developed by Don Henneke, PhD, is a scientific method of evaluating a horse’s body condition regardless of breed, body type, sex or age. It is widely used by law enforcement agencies as an objective method of scoring a horse’s body condition in horse cruelty cases. The Chart is accepted in a court of law.

Six parts of a horse are checked in this system—the neck, withers (where the neck ends and the back begins), shoulder, ribs, loin, and tailhead. When using the Henneke system, you should always make physical contact with these parts, and the kind of touch you use is important. Simply stroking the animal lightly won’t provide an accurate idea of the horse’s condition; you have to apply pressure to each part in turn.

Body Condtion Scoring Diagram

Body Condtion Scoring Diagram

Body Condition Scoring System

Body Condition Score BCS1

BCS 1 Poor

Emaciated. Prominent processes, ribs, tailhead, hooks and pins. Noticeable bone structure on withers, shoulders and neck. No fatty tissues can be palpated (felt).

Body Condition Score BCS 2

BCS 2 Very Thin

Emaciated; slight tissue cover over bones; vertebrae, ribs, tail head, and bones of withers, shoulder, and neck are visible.

Body Condition Score BCS 3

BCS 3 Thin

Fat build up about half way on the spinous processes. Transverse processes cannot be felt. Slight fat cover over ribs. Spinous processes and ribs easily discernible. Tailhead prominent, but individual vertebrae cannot be identified. Hook bones appear rounded, but easily discernible. Pin bones not distinguishable. Withers, shoulders and neck accentuated

Body Condition Score BCS 4

BCS 4 Moderately Thin

Negative crease along back. Faint outline of ribs discernible. Tailhead prominence depends on conformation, fat can be felt around it. Hook bones not discernable. Withers, shoulders and neck not obviously thin

Body Condition Score BCS 5

BCS 5 Moderate

Back is level. Ribs cannot be visually distinguished, but can be easily felt. Fat around tailhead beginning to feel spongy. Withers appear rounded over spinous processes. Shoulders and neck blend smoothly into body

Body Condition Score BCS 6

BCS 6 Moderately Fleshy

May have slight crease down back. Fat over ribs feels spongy. Fat around tailhead feels soft. Fat beginning to be deposited along the sides of the withers, behind the shoulders and along the sides of the neck.

Body Condition Score BCS 7

BCS 7 Fleshy

May have a positive crease down back (gully). Individual ribs can be felt, but noticeable filling between ribs with fat. Fat around tailhead is soft. Fat deposits along withers, behind shoulders and along the neck.

Body Condition Score BCS 8

BCS 8 Fat

Crease down back. Difficult to palpate ribs. Fat around tailhead very soft. Area along withers filled with fat. Area behind shoulder filled in flush. Noticeable thickening of neck. Fat deposited along inner buttocks

Body Condition Score BCS 9

BCS 9 Extremely Fat

Obvious crease down back. Patchy fat appearing over ribs. Bulging fat around tailhead, along withers, behind shoulders and along neck. Fat along inner buttocks may rub together. Flank filled in flush.

How to report neglected, abused or abandoned horse(s)

In case of an emergency always call 911

You must have:

  1. Physical address. If there is no address for the property, please have the county, the town or city and the closest physical address or intersection and the mileage and directions to the property from that point. Law Enforcement will not respond to a general location. You can use the GPS on your phone, and note the location when parked in front of the property.
    Example of detailed directions:
    In Bay County in Bay City from the intersection of NW 40th street and 120th avenue, head west on NW 120th avenue for 6/10th of a mile. Pasture is on the right (north) side of the road. Two bay horses and one chestnut.
  2. Pictures. Please take pictures of the horse(s) if you can from a legal right of way.
    Do not trespass or contact the animal’s owner. A confrontation with a horse owner can impede an investigation and you could be charged with harassment or trespassing.

After you have reported the horse(s) to law enforcement please email the information and photos to Horse Protection so we may offer assistance to the agency if needed.

Where to report: Agencies by County in Florida to report neglected, abandoned or abused horses

*Denotes that the Sheriff’s Office has a Ag Unit

Alachua Sheriff’s Office*352-367-4000
Baker County Sheriff’s Office904-259-2861
Bay County Animal Control850-767-3333
Bradford County Sheriff’s Office*904-966-6380
Brevard County Sheriff’s Office Animal Services321-633-2105
Broward County Sheriff’s Office954-764-4357
Calhoun County Sheriff’s Office850-674-5049
Charlotte County Sheriff’s Office*941-639-2101
Citrus County Animal Services352-726-1121
Clay County Animal Services
Or report online
Collier County Sheriff’s Office*239-774-4434
Columbia County Sheriff’s Office*386-752-9212
De Soto County Sheriff’s Office*863-993-4700
Dixie County Sheriff’s Office352-498-1220
Duval County Sheriff’s Office904-630-0500
Escambia County Animal Control850-595-0097
or Panhandle Equine Rescue850-587-3565
Flagler County Sheriff’s Office*386-437-4116
Franklin County Animal Control850-670-4733
Gasden County Animal Control850-627-9233
Gilchrist County Sheriff’s Office*352-463-3410
Glades County Sheriff’s Office*863-946-1600
Gulf County Sheriff’s Office850-227-1115
Hamilton County Animal Control386-792-1212
Hardee County Sheriff’s Office*863-773-0304
Hendry County Sheriff’s Office*863-675-2446
Hernando County Sheriff’s Office*352-754-6830
Highlands County Sheriff’s Office*863-402-7200
Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office*813-247-8200
Holmes County Sheriff’s Office850-547-4421
Indian River County Sheriff’s Office*772-569-6700
Jackson County Sheriff’s Office850-482-9624
Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office850-997-2523
Lafayette County Sheriff’s Office*386-294-1222
Lake County Sheriff’s Office*352-343-2101
Lee County Sheriff’s Office239-477-1000
Leon County Animal Services850-606-5400
Levy County Sheriff’s Office*352-486-5111
Liberty County Sheriff’s Office850-973-4151
Madison County Sheriff’s Office850-973-4151
Manatee County Sheriff’s Office*941-747-3011
Marion County Sheriff’s Office*352-732-8181
or Marion County Animal Services352-671-8727
Martin County Sheriff’s Office*772-220-7000
Miami-Dade County Sheriff’s Office*305-476-5423
Ag Unit786-657-3233
Monroe County Sheriff’s Office305-853-7021
Nassau County Animal Services904-530-6150
Okaloosa County FL Dept. Ag Law Enforcement850-613-2203
Okeechobee County Sheriff’s Office*863-763-3117
Orange County Sheriff’s Office*407-254-7000
Osceola County Sheriff’s Office*407-348-2222
Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office*561-688-3000
Pasco County Sheriff’s Office*727-847-8102
Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office727-582-6200
Polk County Sheriff’s Office*863-298-6200
Putnam County Sheriff’s Office*386-329-0800
Saint John’s County Sheriff’s Office*904-824-8304
Saint Lucie County Sheriff’s Office*772-462-7300
Santa Rosa County Animal Services850-983-4680
Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office*941-861-4087
Seminole County Sheriff’s Office*407-708-7600
Sumter County Sheriff’s Office*352-569-1600
Suwannee County Sheriff’s Office386-362-2222
Taylor County Sheriff’s Office850-584-7017
Union County Sheriff’s Office386-496-2501
Wakulla County Animal Services850-745-7100
Walton County Sheriff’s Office*850-892-8182
Washington County Animal Services850-638-6306
Volusia County Sheriff’s Office*386-736-5961

If your horse is Lost or Stolen Horses in Florida:

  1. Report to your local Sheriff’s Office
  2. Report to Florida Department of Law Enforcement 800-342-5869
  3. Report to the Stolen Horse International