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Having been around horses, dogs, cats, birds, rabbits, and other animals since childhood,when Nancy Labriola ’93 decided to leave the corporate world, working with animals was an obvious choice. So she started South Shore Pet Nannies, which recently was featured in Boston Magazine.

“I couldn’t afford to go to vet school and I didn’t want to invest the time to get a degree,” she says. “I had so much ‘life’ knowledge already and have always studied animals as a hobby and become very knowledgeable on topics such as animal behavior, pack mentality, dog training, etc.”

Labriola knew something about pet sitting from trying to find care for her own pets when she went on vacation or worked long hours.

“I wanted to use the knowledge I already had in a happy environment. Vets see so much of the bad side of things,” she says. “In my business, I have customers who take great care of their pets. I see a lot of the more successful situations. I also wanted to be able to work with my dog.”

Being her own boss has made the job even more fulfilling.

“I could never go back to corporate America. I have a fantastic lifestyle that is very healthy. I work outside every day and get tons of exercise,” she says.

Labriola’s time at Lafayette helped to prepare her for running her own business.

“It taught me to prioritize. It always seemed like you could not get everything done, so you had to decide what was most important,” she says. “Since I am the owner I am ultimately responsible for everything. So, I am pretty much on call 24/7. Plus, our business is 365 days a year and busiest on holidays.”

Labriola is founder of South Shore Pet Network, a pet businesses association with over 100 members, volunteers for an animal shelter, and coordinates fundraising events, including one called Barkitecture.

“We have a live auction for designer dog houses and cat condos. Local architects and builders design them and we also have a silent auction piece,” she says.

Labriola also enjoys skydiving, surfing, kayaking, and swimming.

“I had the opportunity to swim with a school of 30 nurse sharks when I visited an island called Ambergris Caye off the coast of Belize,” she says. “It was amazing and the biggest adrenaline rush I’ve ever had.”

Categorized in: Alumni Profiles