Miniature donkeys are native to the Mediterranean islands of Sicily and Sardinia. They are identified as either Sicilian or Sardinian donkeys according to their ancestry, although the two types do not differ. They have been extensively bred with each other and with animals of unidentified ancestry in the United States to produce a distinctively American breed of donkeys, which we call the Miniature Mediterranean Donkey.
According to all information that can be aquired these donkeys are nearly extinct in the land of their origin and have been brought to their current state of being an excellent breed by breeders in the United States who have bred for years for size, disposition and conformation. There are probably about 10,000 of these donkeys in the United States today but there is not an accurate account of them because they are not all registered.
A registry was established in 1958 by Danby Farm in Nebraska and is now a part of the American Donkey and Mule Society in Denton, Texas. Approximately 15,000 of these donkeys have been registered since the inception of the registry but many more exist in unregistered herds. The breed is defined by size. The adult miniature donkey must not be more than 36 inches tall when mature, measured from the highest point of the withers to the ground.