Stan Van Gundy
Photo: Alyssa Blayney

On Saturday, April 29 the Bissell Pet Foundation funded the “Empty the Shelters” pet adoption day which saw more than 1,500 animals from 66 shelters find new forever homes. At the time, the saddest story of the event was the tale of Eastwood, a special needs red-coated Labrador retriever mix that was the only puppy left at The Little Traverse Bay Humane Society.

The Humane Society posted this on Facebook about Eastwood following their event:

Poor Eastwood is so lonely now that all of his pals have been adopted! Eastwood is the only dog left at the shelter after Empty the Shelters on Saturday, but we know the perfect home is out there somewhere. This amazing boy has a few health issues that need to be addressed (which is why we think he was abandoned initially, poor guy!), but this boy is so sweet, we know it will be well worth it. He’s only a year old and as nice as they come. Did we mention he’s great with other dogs, cats AND kids?? Please “like” and share this post, so Eastwood can have the happily ever after that he so deserves!

UPDATE: Thank you everyone for your interest in sweet Eastwood! We have been getting a lot of calls and interest in him and we could not be happier! If you are interested in Eastwood please submit an application at Eastwood has some leg deformities that we believe he was born with. Although the Veterinarian is not recommending surgery for his legs at this time, he could need surgery in the future, which his new family would be responsible for. These surgeries could be upward of $4000. Although we understand this is a lot to take on for most families, we are committed to finding the perfect fit for Eastwood. Thank you again for all of your support and shares!

Eventually a good family stepped in and was deemed a right fit for Eastwood. They will be able to take care of all of Eastwood’s medical expenses as well as provide him a loving home.

That family was none other than the Van Gundy’s! That’s right. Pistons coach and president Stan Van Gundy and his wife Kim stepped up adopted Eastwood.


“We are so grateful to the Van Gundy family for the awareness they are bringing to adoption and for opening their hearts to make a difference that will change Eastwood’s life forever,” remarked Cathy Bissell, founder of BISSELL Pet Foundation. “Every shelter pet deserves a second chance. So many pets are waiting to be adopted and we hope telling Eastwood’s story will help save those pets too.”

Kim Van Gundy is excited to welcome Eastwood to their family.

“Special thank you to BISSELL Pet Foundation for sponsoring Empty the Shelters,” commented Kim Van Gundy, Eastwood’s new mom. “If it were not for Empty the Shelters, our family would not have seen Eastwood. We always believe our animals find us.”

The Van Gundy’s not only got a new member to their family, but they may have very well saved the life of Eastwood.

“Like in most county-run facilities nationwide, these animals have the potential of being euthanized due to lack of space,” said Deter Racine, Executive Director of Little Traverse Bay Humane Society. “This is regardless of breed; it can even happen to a beautiful boy like Eastwood. We work very closely with our local stray center to avoid this if at all possible.”

As for what this means for the Pistons, obviously nothing, unless the good karma from adopting Eastwood can rub off Van Gundy’s team in the form of a lottery ball bounce that lands them a top-three pick. If that is the outcome, Eastwood should immediately be coronated as the Pistons new mascot.