by Diane Herbst
After Jill Sullivan Grueter's beloved father passed away in 2008, Grueter decided her life needed a change.
"I wanted to do something bigger than myself," she says. So the New Hampshire ad copy writer and longtime animal lover visited a local horse rescue with buildings in need of TLC. "I thought, 'These people are so wonderful,'" she recalls. "I will do whatever it takes to give them a makeover and do whatever it took to do it myself.'"
Grueter, 34, her contractor friend James Byrne, and two other handy friends created their own version of Extreme Makeover Animal Edition, calling it The Project Pawsitive Foundation. Their current mission is a complete makeover of the Greyhound Adoption Service in Salisbury, Mass. The $55,000 project, Project Pawsitive's biggest yet, is funded completely by donations and includes replacing the roof, building a quarantine facility, fixing the kennels and creating a comfortable area for the dogs and their prospective new parents to meet.
"At the end of the day, at the end of my life I want to make sure I did the best I could with what I have," Grueter says. "I feel we are all here for a greater purpose and I believe that I am here for this purpose, that I can make my dad proud and help save animals, it makes me feel good."
The rescue has already found homes for over 2,000 former racing Greyhounds. "Our mission is to help place these racing greyhounds and we want to get them into good permanent homes," says Deborah Schildkraut of the Greyhound Adoption Service. "This will help us with the upgrade in the kennel, to make it a better place for the dogs.
"To do a whole renovation is beyond what we could have comprehended," Schildkraut continues. "We are all pitching in on this and expanding the scope of what we could have done on our own, since all our money goes to the dogs. We're very thankful."