Pupperiffic! Care for Canine Companions is one of the longest-established dog walking companies serving Somerville, MA. Its founder, “Auntie Shell” (Michelle Zabka) began her career as an official Poop Jockey, traveling from dog to dog on foot, then on bike, in 2001 -- before scooping feke and spending the day playing with a pack became a popular business venture.
Today, Pupperiffic! operates two luxurious mini-vans replete with odor de dog to transport the pack and employs several experienced handlers to assist in scooping and frolicking doo-dies! Of course, some things never change, like Auntie Shell’s boisterous praise for a “GOOD POO-POO!” or needing to stop the pack to dole out a kiss or two… or three…
It is of little surprise that Auntie Shell ended up in this line of work. One of her earliest works of art as a child was picture of dog treats. Although her family didn’t own a pup at the time, her interest was clear!
Auntie Shell grew up in Webster, MA where her pastimes included finding and saving baby birds and squirrels as well as finding salamanders under rocks. For the most part, her family always had a furry canine or feline member.
During college Auntie Shell always had a cat, birds and/or rodents and spent her free time scouring neighborhoods looking for dogs to love. It was no different when she moved to Somerville as a young adult, except that she didn’t need to travel very far to find a pup to dote on. The best part of her day in most cases was her walk down the bike path where she was able to accost many a dog with her love and make friends with their humans on her way to work in Financial District. This led to offers to dog-sit which kept her (partially) sane during her years of work in finance.
In 2001, when the economic downturn left her jobless she felt the time was right to follow her dream and turn her career into a passion, so she launched Pupperffic! Care for Canine Companions.
Auntie Shell’s passion for animals doesn’t just end at the last walk or frolic. She is “Momma” to two rescued pit bulls of her own – GodSpeed and Ace. She also sponsors a dog through PittieLove Rescue and a pig named “Squealy Dan” at the Ironwood Pig Sanctuary. When Pupperiffic! has retired one of its mini-vans over the years, the Humane Society of the United States has always been the beneficiary. Pupperiffic! is also proud to be sponsoring the 2015 Somerville Homeless Coalition's 20th Annual 5k on October 3, 2015!
“I’m not old… I’m seasoned.” – Auntie Shell