People Rally Around Special-Needs Dog Who Was Left Behind At An Adoption Event

By Katie Garrity

Ready for the most heartwarming adoption story you'll read all day?

Meet Eastwood.

This adorable red-coated Labrador retriever mix was born with a genetic defect in one of his rear legs. Eastwood also has a condition that causes his eyelashes to grow inward.

Surgery to treat Eastwood's eyes could cost upwards of $4,000, according to shelter staff, who also suspect the playful year-old pup wasn't adopted at a recent adoption event because of his special needs.

Eastwood was the only dog left at the Little Traverse Bay Humane Society's "Empty the Shelter" event. Eastwood and shelter staff were heartbroken. How cold such a good boy be left behind?

The staff at the shelter couldn't let this be Eastwood's ending, and they took to their Facebook page to see if they could find Eastwood a great home.

They wrote, "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."

Within hours, the post had over 2,000 shares and the adoption applications for sweet Eastwood came pouring in.

That's when the head coach of the Detroit Pistons, Stan Van Gundy, enters this story. After hearing about a lonely, special-needs dog who was rejected at an adoption event, he knew Eastwood would be a welcome edition to the Van Gundy family.

Stan Van Gundy Getty Image
credit: Getty Images

"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 press release. "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."

This story's happy ending has us all weepy because now Eastwood is adopted and is going to a loving and doting family who will shower Eastwood with all the treats and snuggles he deserves.