Friday, May 31, 2013

Where to shop cruelty-free: Cosmetics stores

When it comes to animal-testing, few areas have been more controversial than cosmetics. There are however a number of great companies out there that go cruelty-free.

But this is where I am at a loss. I've never been much into makeup, so this is not something I can speak from experience about.

So I asked Brittany Minor, who runs a well-known beauty blog called "Clumps of Mascara," to tell you some of her favorite cruelty-free products, and where to find them. Take it away, Brittany!



Guys and gals who love their furry friends and want to support cruelty-free cosmetics may think that cruelty-free items are difficult to find. Nope! Many brands are jumping on the bandwagon of animal kindness and cruelty-free products can now be found at just about every big name store. I’ve made a list of some of my favorite stores and the cruelty-free products that you can find there.

Sephora is a beauty lover’s playground. I hear angels singing every time I step foot in the massive store. However, the best way to look for cruelty-free brands at Sephora is by checking their online site. Most of the same brands sold online are sold in stores but the descriptions and ingredient information for brands and their products’ will be super beneficial to cruelty-free shoppers.

Some of my favorite cruelty-free brands at Sephora? Check out Tarte, Urban Decay and Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics.

Photo courtesy of Ulta.

Ulta is another specialty beauty store and I love them because they not only offer higher-end brands, but they have drugstore brands as well. Like Sephora, navigating their website to do a search on “cruelty-free” products is probably your best bet. I’ve also found that their salesgirls and salesguys are super helpful and can lead you in the direction of cruelty-free beauty products. My favorite Cruelty-free brands at Ulta include NYX, ecoTools brushes and Bare Minerals.

On a budget and would rather spend money on products that haven’t been sitting in warehouses for months at a time? I love shopping at Etsy because I really enjoy supporting smaller brands. If you’re looking into dabbling into mineral makeup, skincare products and lip balms, Etsy is fabulous place to head to. Aside from finding many vegan and all natural brands, most beauty brands on Etsy are cruelty-free.
  • So, what are some of your favorite cruelty-free beauty products? Would you consider changing your makeup to go cruelty-free? Tell us below.
For product reviews, beauty tips and more, head to Clumps of Mascara, or check Brittany out on Twitter @clumpsofmascara.  

Plus, you check find the rest of our Cruelty-Free articles in Life With Beagle's Cruelty-Free Guide.
Speaking of Twitter, are you following me? Follow us @lifewithbeagle.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

10 things I learned at BlogPaws 2013





BlogPaws 2013! If you're going to be a pet blogger, you need to go to at least one BlogPaws. This was my first, and the excitement was high for this.

Me and a bunch of friends from our weekly #petchat on Twitter! (Photo courtesy of Schmittytheweatherdog.com)
Seeing all my friends again, and meeting people I've only talked to online, was so exhilarating. And I learned so much from the conference too!

Here are some of the things I learned:

1) Cross-pollinate. The pet industry is huge, and the pet presence is huge online. If we work together, we can make a bigger difference in the lives of pets. But instead, there's lots of fighting, lots of animosity, lots of isolation between different groups of pet people -- rescues, bloggers, cats, dogs, etc. We need to break down those barriers.

Steve Dale delivers a keynote address Friday morning at BlogPaws.


2) Misinformation is a problem. Steve Dale, a syndicated pet writer, and keynote speaker, says fewer people are taking their pets to the vet -- especially cats. That may be because people feel they can't afford it, but Steven also feels that people are getting misinformation online. I suppose it makes sense.

More people are using WebMD and trying to treat themselves instead of going to the doctor (in a story recently, a woman delayed taking her son to the hospital for a gunshot wound for hours while she looked up info online.). It stands to reason people would do the same for their pets. There is also a lot of fears about vaccinations.

As pet bloggers, it is incumbent upon us to be rational, and provide the best, most accurate info we can, because readers are looking to us for tips for their pets.

3) Diabetes is way up among pets. Diabetes is a big issue in my family. On top of my Dad and other family members living with this disease, we lost two cats to it.

But while there are a lot of people looking at cancer (another growing problem) among pets, I've not seen much about diabetes. I plan on working to raise awareness this summer. What is causing it? How can we prevent? Can our pets live a good life with diabetes?

4)  ASPCA has a place in the pet world. There is a lot of resentment toward ASPCA. There is good reason. ASPCA gives very little money to shelters, and has made some questionable actions in the name of helping pets. However, they are the lobby for the pets. And they are up against some stiff, well-moneyed competition. As ASPCA expands its lobbying efforts into more states, it's up to us to work with them in the hopes of bettering the lives of all animals.

5) There's a Congressional animal protection caucus. Did you know that? There's a group of about 80 lawmakers who have the interests of our pets at heart. We need to make sure they know what our priorities are. Find the members of the caucus here. Is you congress person on the list? Let them know you want them to be!

6) Write more. We are often told not to write posts longer than 500 words, and I've been following that -- somewhat. But the more you write, the more people link... especially if it's good and in-depth.  

Do you feel I provide good content on my blog? Please let me know if you think I can improve.

7) There are lots of good resources online. I can make slideshows and post video and make infographics. I just don't use a lot of those tools. But I plan to.

Dexter the cocker spaniel means Charles the monarch.

8) Network more. I went to BlogPaws to network, and network I did. Good gravy! But I have to network more online too. I need to post more on other people's blogs and share people's posts. It's a reciprocal thing.

9) Become a clearinghouse for what's out there! From pet360.com to HABRI to Petfinder, there's a wealth of information out there and things that can help you get a pet, raise a pet, have a special bond with your pet, and help others too.



10) Being with other people's pets makes me miss Lulu. I couldn't bring her to BlogPaws. She stayed with my parents while I was at the conference. I missed her a lot. And she missed me.


Were you at BlogPaws? What did you come away from the experience with?

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Free adoptions at Pasco County Animal Shelter in Florida



Another week goes by, and Pasco County Animal Shelter is beyond capacity. Several dogs were supposed to be euthanized Tuesday, but there was a reprieve -- for who knows how long. On May 19 the shelter euthanized 25 dogs. Cats get euthanized all the time since they don't have room.

Sloan is a hound mix. Volunteers say she's very, very sweet.
She has a foster, just needs a rescue. Adoption is better.
This shelter is in Land O'Lakes, Florida, in a remote area. At least a dozen new dogs are brought in on an almost daily basis.

Animals are sharing kennels now, and it is very loud in the shelter areas. Volunteers say it makes it tough on the dogs, and many are scared. Dogs who are scared are less likely to open up to potential adopters. If they are owner surrendered or are not friendly with staff, they can be labeled as aggressive. That makes it even harder to save the dogs.


 A lab mix who the shelter says is very good.
He's knows many of his commands and is good on a leash.
We need to empty as many dogs and cats out of the shelter as possible. Pasco Animal Shelter is trying to go 90 percent no kill, but it's nearly impossible when the shelter is constantly overcapacity.

The shelter is also involved in the Rachael Ray 100K Challenge this year. Their goal is to save 811 animals in the next three months. There is a kick-off this weekend!


Please help share this post, and this information.

Pasco County Animal Services (Tampa Bay, FL)
19640 Dogpatch Ln.
Land O’Lakes, FL 34638


To place a hold as adopter or foster/rescue: You must email BEFORE the time they are scheduled to be put to sleep. Email to adoptionpartners@pascocountyfl.net
The subject MUST be IN CAPS: ATTN DO NOT EUTH (ID#____).
 

To call (lines are open Tuesday-Friday, noon-4:30): 
727-834-3216 
727-834-3218 
813-929-1212.

Hours of operation to the public: 
Tuesday & Wednesday: 12:00pm-4:30pm. 
Thursday 12:00pm-6:30pm. 
Friday & Saturday: 12:00pm-4:30pm.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

5 ways to help Oklahoma tornado victims UPDATED

UPDATE: Saturday, May 25 -- I've updated my five ways with the latest info. Please check it out!

Photo courtesy of Central Oklahoma Humane Society.
On Tuesdays normally I would write a post about local rescues who need homes. But Oklahoma is very much on my mind. And if it's on your mind too, here are some ways to help people and pets who were affected by the tornado.

Photo courtesy of Central Oklahoma Humane Society.
  1. Spread the word about lost and found pets. The Central Oklahoma Humane Society has opened an official site to see lost and found pets. That can be found at OKCLostPets.com.

    Several Facebook and Twitter groups have set up lost and found pet networks. Some of them on Facebook include Oklahoma Lost & Found Pets, Moore Oklahoma Tornado Lost and Found Animals. On Twitter, check out @DisasterAnimals or @mcclain_em2

    Watch these sites for pets that need to be reunited with family members, and spread the word. If the human families are out there, they are not whole until they are with their pets. Every share and retweet helps.
  2. Donate to local charities. The Central Oklahoma Humane Society is trying to help as many pets in Moore as they can. As of Friday, they had taken in 110 pets, with 53 reunited with their owners. That's 57 animals that still need help.
    Financial donations are needed to help these animals, and animals already at the shelter. Head to Central OK Humane Society blog for the latest info.

    The Oklahoma City Animal Shelter also needs help food towels and blankets. You can call at 405-297-3100 or 405-297-3088.

    The Pet Food Pantry of Oklahoma City is also collecting items. You can call them at 405-664-2858.
  3. Donate to national charities.
    BlogPaws Be the Change for Pets has teamed up with World Vets to help those affected by the tornado. On this blog on the right is a donation button. Over $6,000 has been raised so far, but more is needed. Head here to donate.
    The North Shore Animal League is assisting the victims of the storm with a mobile unit. To further help, North Shore Animal League took dozens of cats and pets who had no owners and were living at the shelter before the storm back to New York. They will be adopted out there. This New York-based shelter bills itself as the largest no-kill shelter in the world, and offers help all over the country when disasters happen. Head to their website to donate. 

    The American Kennel Club is also helping support local groups caring for displaced pets. You can donate to their relief fund on the AKC website.
  4. Donate to search dog groups. The National Disaster Search Dog Foundation has teams on the ground searching buildings levelled by the tornado right now. They've had practice in situations like this. NDSDF dogs went to Joplin, MO, Japan, Haiti, and The World Trade Center after those tragedies, and many more. Help by donating on their website -- time, money, even a dog.
  5. Pawcircle. No matter what you believe, you can send your well-wishes and hopes to those affected by this tornado. Among us pet bloggers, a pawcircle is a way to offer hope and comfort to those missing or even losing their beloved pet. Dana Moody, @danapixie, leads a Pawcircle feed on Twitter. She posts this every night, and I offer it to you now:
"We gather here in paw in paw, paw in hand. Sending good thoughts to those named and unnamed. Wishing all well."

Photo courtesy of Central Oklahoma Humane Society.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Where to buy cruelty-free: Supermarkets

This will be one of the last posts in the series, but it's an important one. All along I've been trying to point out that you don't have to go to a hoity-toity natural food store or an upper class mall store to find quality products that are not tested on animals.

With supermarkets though, it's a bit tougher. There are lots of products out there, and they can be anywhere. The only way to know though, is to look around.



The dominant supermarket in Orlando is Publix. Most Publixes have some kind of "Greenwise" area. Sometimes it's a kiosks in a few coordinating aisles. Sometimes its a whole area near the entrance of the store. Sometimes it's a whole store, but that's still being rolled out.

This is the area in my Publix Greenwise section where the beauty products are kept. If there's a Greenwise area, most of the beauty products are kept there, while cleaning products can be there, or in the regular aisle.

As can see, Publix has all sorts of products: Avalon Botanicals, Kiss My Face, Jason Organics, etc. The cleaning products include Method and Seventh Generation.

But Publix isn't every where. So where can you find products near you?

That depends on what you are looking for.

The easiest thing to do is, if you have a smartphone, download the Leaping Bunny app. It's available for both Apple and Android. Then you take it into the store with you.

Many of the product websites also have store locators, so if you are looking for something in particular.

Here's a list of stores I've found throughout the country that have cruelty-free products. I looked for Jason Organics, Seventh Generation and Method cleaners. If they have these products, they may have more.
  • Albertsons 
  • Food Lion
  • Hannaford 
  • Hy Vee
  • King Kullen
  • King Soopers 
  • Kroger
  • Lowe's
  • Meijer
  • Pathmark
  •  Super Stop N Shop
  • Sweet Bay
  • Waldbaum's 
  • Wegmans (with the help of Dawn Miklich of Affurmation.com)
Take a look around your grocery stores next time. What products do your stores have?

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

We got a Sunshine Award! Thanks, Life as Alfie

Thanks to Emily of Life as Alfie, who nominated me for the Sunshine Award!

This prize is awarded to “bloggers who positively and creatively inspire others in the blogosphere.” As an award winner, there are a few rules to follow:
  • Thank the person (or dog, as the case may be) who gave this award to you and link to his or her blog.
  • Answer the questions below.
  • Pass on the award to 10 fabulous bloggers, link their blogs, and let them know you awarded them.

So here are the questions and my answers!
  1. Favourite Colour? Green!
  2. Favourite Animal? I have to choose?! Beagles, cats, manatees, rabbits, horses, tigers, lions, bears, oh my!
  3. Favourite Number? I would say 3. I like when things come in threes. I always try to find at least three things to say about something.
  4.  Favourite Drink? It's gotta be hot chocolate. Yup. hot chocolate.
  5. Facebook or Twitter? Twitter!! But follow me on Facebook too!
  6. Your passion? Writing, travelling, and my pets!
  7. Giving or getting presents? Giving! It's an excuse to go shopping, and I love finding just the right present!
  8.  Favorite Day? I'm big on Friday!
  9. Favourite Flowers? Roses. 
So here are blogs I love that give me great ideas.
Thank you for your inspiration!


Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Free adoptions at Pasco County Animal Shelter, Florida

UPDATE: A euthanasia list has been released for May 17. TWENTY-FIVE dogs will be put to sleep, including Teka there, unless they are found a home. Please help spread the word!

The first 25 dogs listed on the Friends of Pasco County Animal Services Facebook Page will be euthanized if they can't get a home or a rescue to step up. Find the list here.

Last week we talked about Pasco County Animal Shelter's critical need to get animals adopted or rescued and out of the shelter. While many dogs were saved last week, the need is still great because more dogs come in every day.

Now through Saturday, May 18, Pasco County is waiving adoption fees. They are also looking for rescues and fosters to take some animals out of the shelter.

Teka, a dog I mentioned last week, is still there:
She's a stray pit mix that was supposed to be euthanized last week. She has some $220 in pledges to help pay for her costs, but no one, not even a rescue, has stepped up to the plate. She's labeled aggressive, but volunteers say she's just scared.

Lady Bug is a lab/cocker spaniel mix. She was sent to the shelter because the owner couldn't afford her anymore.

D-0201... that's the designation. No name. 

She's a lab mix, yellow and white, and very scared at the shelter. Seems to be ok with the other dogs.

"D-0218" is a young female pit mix, who has lots of energy and is friendly with staff members. She might need a bit of training though.


"D-0174" is a male fox hound mix. This old gentleman was released by his owners because he allegedly became aggressive and bit the owner's wife. The staff though says he is very friendly. He does have a growth on his right eye though.



These are just a sampling of the dogs still at Pasco County County Animal Shelter.  If you are looking for a dog, now is a great time to find a new companion and save a life.

You can find more dogs, and more information about each dog on the Friends of the Animals of Pasco Facebook page.

The shelter is at 19640 DogPatch Lane in Land O'Lakes Florida, 34638.

To call (lines are open Tuesday-Friday, noon-4:30): 
727-834-3216 or 727-834-3218 or 813-929-1212.

Hours of operation to the public: 
Tuesday & Wednesday: 12:00pm-4:30pm. 
Thursday: 12:00pm-6:30pm. 
Friday & Saturday: 12:00pm-4:30pm.

You can also email the shelter if you want to get a particular dog.  
Email to adoptionpartners@pascocountyfl.net The subject MUST be IN CAPS: ATTN DO NOT EUTH , and then include the ID # of the dog. 

Monday, May 13, 2013

When China gets in the way: Origins' cruelty-free problem

These are some of my favorite skincare products.


After trying lots of skincare products over the years, including some cruelty-free products, I tried Origins. The stuff was a little pricey, but within no time at all face was devoid of break-outs, and my skin has never looked so good. I have stuff for every level of facial care, plus skin cream for my hands, and makeup.

I love their products, they are natural, they work, you get free mini-facials in the stores, and they are environmentally-friendly.

But is it animal-friendly?

For the longest time, it was. And sometimes, it still is.

But then this happened: in March 2010, Estee Lauder, Origins parent company, began selling in China. And that includes the Dr. Andrew Weil's (the great bearded health guru himself) products.

Well, there's just one problem: China requires animal testing for some products, or at least some ingredients. The European Union banned cosmetic testing, and the US doesn't have a law either way.

If you haven't noticed though, companies, especially luxury brands, are very keen to market to China. While some companies have used the EU ban as a way to stop animal testing (like Shiseido), others are not willing to budge and miss out on a big market.

Here is what it says on the Origins website, buried:
"We do not conduct animal testing on our products or ingredients, nor do we ask others to test on our behalf, unless required by law."
If you go into the stores, I've never had a worker not tell me they are cruelty-free. And they may not... in America?

I asked Kim Paschen, a spokesperson for Leaping Bunny.org, about why Origins was not on the cruelty-free list. Here is another problem Origins has: Estee Lauder itself.
"Origins is actually owned by Estee Lauder and they are selling in China, which requires animal testing. Because the companies EL owns are not independent subsidiaries as in the case of L'Oreal/Urban Decay, we can't certify just Origins."
In other words, while Estee Lauder and Origins say they are committed to being cruelty-free, because they sell to China, where testing is required, they can't be. And they are not fighting those laws either.

The bottom line is, until companies start standing up to China, or someone doesn't change their policies on animal testing, nothing will get done.

In the meantime, I'm in a dilemma, and I'm sure I'm not alone: what do I switch to? Can I switch? I don't really know, but I'd like to start trying to.

Do you have a special skincare product that you use?

Friday, May 10, 2013

Where to buy cruelty-free: CVS and Walgreens


 We've checked out Target and Walmart for products that don't test on animals. This week, we are checking out pharmacies.


And the pharmacies by me are CVS and Walgreens.

Now, you would think a place that specializes in certain types of products would have more cruelty-free products. But they were tougher to find.

I found Burt's Bees easily at CVS, but much everything else was tougher to find. I will say though, the variety was different from the other stores.

Freeman Botanicals
Dickinson's Witch Hazel

Tom's of Maine Deodorant -- with a larger selection, and more expensive!

Paul Mitchell products.


Nuance by Salma Hayek -- Hair care and skincare products. These appear to be sold exclusively at CVS, and claim to be cruelty-free, though I can't find them on either the Leaping Bunny and PETA lists.

In the baby section, there was Burt's Bees and Seventh Generation products. There was also Little Twig products, which are on the PETA list. 
This is a brand new Walgreens. It's huge, open and airy. But it didn't have many products.

They had the Burt's Bees, the Paul Mitchell, the Tom's of Maine Deodorant and toothpaste, Dr. Bronner's Magic Soaps, the Freeman Botanicals and they had Queen Helene products. I think they also had Rusk shampoo, but I was trying not to draw too much attention. Lots of people working at that store.



In the baby area they had two products: Babyganics, and live clean baby. The products claim to be cruelty-free, the live clean baby even has a bunny on the back. But they don't show up on either list.
 So some pharmacies have cruelty-free products, but they are extremely limited. And many are not even on the PETA or Leaping Bunny lists. I'm still trying to figure out what that means. 

NEXT WEEK: We will check out the supermarkets. That will be slightly harder, and should be interesting.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Cruelty-free Review: Method laundry detergent

We continue to review products that do not test on animals, as part of our cruelty-free challenge!

It's laundry day! We bought this little bottle of Method laundry detergent during our trip to Target. We know it's cruelty-free, but will it work?

Today, we'll be doing a load of Lulu's things.

Lulu's blanket.


Lulu's towel (From I Love Pet Head, we'll talk about these products later. They are great!)

Lulu's Anxiety Wrap, inside out.

And Lulu's Thundershirt. This will require a squirt of detergent for stain spotting. Lulu decided to pee at the park, and then roll in it.

Since it's a small load, we only need two squirts of laundry detergent. Method is highly concentrated, which is why the bottle is so small.

And while that's washing, I cuddle Lulu... And we play with her bunny...

And after a quick switch over to the dryer....

We have clean clothes! Particular the Thundershirt, which even smells better!


And Lulu is happy to have her blanket back!


 As good as Method laundry detergent is, it's not cheap.

A 25 load bottle is $7.99 at Target normally. A 50-load bottle is $14.99. You can also buy a bottle refill for $20 that includes 100 loads of detergent.

But if you want to try it out, you can also buy a small bottle for $2.99 that holds 8 loads.

You can find Method at Target, BJ's Wholesale Club, Bed, Bath and Beyond, Lowe's, and numerous supermarkets across the country, including Waldbaums's, Wegmans, Kroger, and more. It's also available in Canada, the United Kingdom, France and Australia.

Find out where to find Method products by you on the company website.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Dogs and cats need rescue in Pasco County, Florida

UPDATE: Bumper has been rescued, and Teka got a few days reprieve. Marley was euthanized.  
:( But they still need help. Please spread the word!

I grew up in Pasco County Florida so, as my Facebook and Twitter peeps know, I will often post pets that need help from the animal shelter there.

Well, now those pets need more help than ever.

Pasco County is in a capacity crisis. They've gotten dozens of dogs in the past few weeks and they can't keep them. Some 133 dogs are currently are at the shelter. There are many rescues in Pasco, but not enough people to adopt or foster. The situation is so bad that one of the local TV stations actually did a story about it.

You can read the story and see the video on the WTSP website by CLICKING HERE.

Several dogs will be euthanized Wednesday if they do not find homes. Cats, meanwhile, could be killed at any time, because cats in the shelter are a larger problem, so there is no holding period for them.

Here are some of the dogs on the euthanasia list:

Bumper, a rottie mix who was overprotective of his owner's child. 

Marley, a retriever mix who was surrendered when his owner went on active duty.
An unnamed pit mix who came in as a stray. Volunteers say she's very scared,
In all of these cases, the animals are showing aggression, or were quarantined for a bite. But in many cases the volunteers say the animals are just scared, and need help.

You can find more dogs, and more information about each dog on the Friends of the Animals of Pasco Facebook page.

The shelter is at 19640 DogPatch Lane in Land O'Lakes Florida, 34638.

To call (lines are open Tuesday-Friday, noon-4:30): 
727-834-3216 or 727-834-3218 or 813-929-1212.

Hours of operation to the public: 
Tuesday & Wednesday: 12:00pm-4:30pm. 
Thursday: 12:00pm-6:30pm. 
Friday & Saturday: 12:00pm-4:30pm.