Van Gundys adopt Eastwood, special-needs dog

Rod Beard
The Detroit News

Turns out, free agency came early this year for Stan Van Gundy.

The Pistons coach and president has adopted a special-needs, red-coated Labrador named Eastwood, who was abandoned in January, left out in the cold, and found limping and nearly blind.

"My wife (Kim) saw the story and applied to adopt Eastwood," Van Gundy told The News. "We love animals and one of our dogs passed away near the end of the season, so this was perfect.

"Make no mistake that my wife is the impetus behind this. She is one of the most caring and generous people in the world."

The BISSELL Pet Foundation’s “Empty the Shelter” adoption day last month found homes for 2,500 pets, but Eastwood was the last dog left without a home. The Van Gundys were unable to attend the adoption day, but at the urging of their daughter, Van Gundy and his wife, Kim, sprung into action

“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,” said Cathy Bissell, founder of BISSELL Pet Foundation, in a statement.

“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.”

The Van Gundys are taking in Eastwood, even though the dog will need at least $4,000 in surgery to fix a leg. Eye surgery could be necessary, too.

"We are blessed to be able to give him the medical care he needs in addition to a loving home, a brother dog, Opie, and six cats," Stan Van Gundy said.

Eastwood has been in the Little Traverse Bay Humane Society, a no-kill shelter in Harbor Springs.

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