DENVER -- If you ask certain people, there is one pet in Colorado that is the most misunderstood, most underrated and most in need of rescue.
"They're better than any other pet you can have. It's like having a little best friend," said 16-year-old Austin Price, who says her heart was stolen by a ferret. "Ferret in Latin means 'little thief,' and they stay true to that name. They will steal anything and everything."
But beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and not everyone in the Price family immediately fell for the weasel family.
"I'd heard a lot about ferrets, and none of it was good. But I had never actually met a ferret," said Jeff Price, Austin's father.
That brought them to the Mile High Ferret Club, where Coloradans can "ferret out" facts with people who really love their furry friends.
"There's a lot of misinformation about ferrets, like, "Oh, they smell or they bite,' (They don't any more than dogs or cats)," said Matthew Jaramillow who runs the state's only no-kill ferret rescue, Ferret Dreams.
Jaramillo said the popularity of ferrets is growing in Colorado, but so is the number of the animals abandoned.
"We just reached over 2,000 ferrets rescued," he said. "They have a lot more different needs than a cat or a dog. They're a lot more higher maintenance."
Beloved for bonding with their humans, ferrets can develop health issues and need hours of daily playtime.
That is the reason the entire Price family ultimately jumped on the ferret bandwagon.
"I just feel like people really need to bond with things," said Austin Price. "I feel like in society today, we're so connected to electronic and other ways of entertainment, that we don't get to spend time with what God created."
Her father said the ferrets (they now have seven) have brought them closer as a family.
"Now, because we get the ferrets out every night, it's everyone comes together and we all get to talk and we get to play with ferrets," said Jeff Price. "And it's awesome."
The saying goes, a dog or cat may steal your heart, but a ferret will steal your socks, but for the Price family, the stolen moments together are the ferrets' gift in return.
Ferret Dreams Rescue is raising money for a stand-alone shelter building and to pay ferret medical bills. For more information, click here.