JB - aka Burrito
Kyle Mason Driver, of Cantonment, an outer suburb of Pensacola in Florida, was charged over the shooting near Jacks Branch Road on May 2.
Driver will serve his time in Escambia County jail, and he has until January 8 to report to start serving his sentence. He was also sentenced by Judge Kenneth Williams to three years' probation.
The distraught owners of the donkey were unable provide the white orphan foal, nicknamed JB, the care he needed and he was handed over to Panhandle Equine Rescue.
JB went to the home of Lindley Barden and made it through the crucial first two weeks of life, given that he did not have the opportunity to drink colostrum from his mother before her death.
Panhandle Equine Rescue president Diane Lowery told Horsetalk that she felt the sentence was fair, given Driver was only 17.
"Maybe a year in jail would help him right now," she said. She welcomed the fact that he would be monitored under probation for three years after his release.
Driver, who was charged with felony animal cruelty or death, using a weapon during the commission of a felony and possession of a firearm by a minor, was also ordered to pay $US440 in restitution to the rescue group.
Lowery said she believed Driver had done the right thing in changing his plea to guilty instead of going to trial.
She said she had seen the pictures of the shot donkey and they were "not pretty". They would not have gone down well with a jury, she believed.
She wondered at Driver being given until January 8 to turn himself in to serve the sentence. "Little JB did not even have time to drink from mum."
Lowery said JB, who has since been renamed Burrito by Barden, is continuing to do well and is as boisterous as ever.
He has yet to join Barden's adult horses, and instead enjoys the company of two abandoned calves rescued from an island in a alligator-infested lake in Central Florida.
Burrito and The Cow Boys as they are known - Bobby and Charlie Brown - are known as the three amigos.