The latest "Empty the Shelters" pet adoption event held Saturday by the BISSELL Pet Foundation found homes for 2,500 cats and dogs around the state of Michigan.
But there was one dog that didn't find a home: Eastwood, a 1-year-old, red-coated Labrador retriever mix with a genetic defect in one of his rear legs. It left the Grand Rapids-based BISSELL and others scrambling, looking for a loving owner for Eastwood.
That's where Stan Van Gundy comes in.
The Detroit Pistons coach and his family heard about "Empty the Shelters" - a day-long promotion held periodically by BISSELL that waives pet adoption fees for new owners at participating shelters around the state of Michigan - and were excited about the possibility of adopting a dog, BISSELL said.
Problem is, they were too late to get in on the event.
"When the family missed the event, their 17-year-old daughter was not shy about voicing her disappointment," BISSELL communications and event manager Holly Kroeze wrote in a release. "Luck was on her side. In the days following, they learned about Eastwood and knew he was their dog.
"Eastwood is going to a loving home with four children where he will never be lonely again. He loves to swim and the family looks forward to having him doggy paddle alongside them on the lake by their home. The Van Gundys have always promoted adoption and are sharing their story to encourage others to adopt, not shop."
It's a heartwarming gesture from the Van Gundy family. Kim Van Gundy - Stan's wife - is a community volunteer and leads the Detroit Pistons Wives and Family Charitable Group.
“If it were not for Empty the Shelters, our family would not have seen Eastwood. We always believe our animals find us," Kim said in a release.
BISSELL, based in Grand Rapids, held two "Empty the Shelters" events in 2016. This was the first of 2017.
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