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MORNING PREP - MORNING PREP - MORNING PREP - MORNING PREP

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! KICKERS !

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BARKING METERS

LOS ANGELES (AP) — It's dogs who do the barking. But canine experts say instead of being upset at the pooch involved, people should put more of a focus on the owners. Animal trainers say most of the dogs who annoy people with their incessant barking have issues of their own. In many cases they are bored, scared or anxious — so the experts say dogs should catch a break. The biggest problem, most pet exerts agree, is that owners don't spend enough time with their dogs. A Montana police officer who deals with issues like pet disputes says most pet problems can be resolved without involving the authorities. Sometimes, it's as easy as moving a kennel from one side of a yard to another — or asking an owner to move a dog indoors so it won't bother the neighbors so much.

LION AT NATIONAL ZOO GIVES BIRTH TO FOUR CUBS

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Washington Cubs? No, there hasn't been a franchise shift in baseball's National League — but there are a new set of cubs at the National Zoo in the nation's capital. A 9-year-old African lion has given birth to four cubs in the Great Cats exhibit. Zoo officials say the lion mom Shera, delivered the four babies over seven hours on Sunday. This is Shera's second litter of cubs and the fifth for 8-year-old father, Luke. So far, zookeepers say the cubs appear to be doing well. African lions are considered a vulnerable species. Their population in the wild has dropped by 30 percent over the past 20 years due to poaching, disease and habitat loss.

DOG RESCUED ON ICE

ST. CLAIR SHORES, Mich. (AP) — It was a description — and now it's the name of a dog that was rescued from ice by the crew of a U.S. Coast Guard cutter. The crew named the dog "Lucky" after they were able to get it off the ice on Lake St. Clair in Michigan. Chief Petty Officer Alan Haraf says the 140-foot cutter Bristol Bay was on its way to help another vessel when crew members spotted the dog. Three crew members donned weather-resistant gear and got off the ship to rescue the dog. The dog was fed and treated before being taken to an animal shelter.

DOG REUNITED WITH OWNER AFTER SNOWY ESCAPADE

PENDLETON, Ore. (AP) — Curly Bear is back home — after a four-day ordeal in the snow. But it took some work to reunite the Airedale with owner Larry Bankston of Hermiston, Oregon. Last week, Bankston headed off to get his son, whose vehicle was stuck in snow — and like a good dog, Curly Bear went along for the ride. But while Bankston did get his son — Curly Bear didn't make the trip back. The dog disappeared and despite a search until dark, there was no sign of him. Eventually a relative saw a story in the East Oregonian (http://bit.ly/1iazVFT) newspaper about snowmobilers finding an Airedale without collar or tags last weekend. After a phone call, Curly Bear is now back home safe.

SHARK SAVING CAMPAIGN UNDER WAY

KINGSTON, Jamaica (AP) — It isn't considered that unusual for a shark to take a bite out of a person. But when people eat sharks, some conservatives say it's time to leap into action. That's what's happening in Trinidad & Tobago — where one of the local delicacies is deep-friend shark sandwiches. The "bake and shark" sandwiches are considered a must-have to those who visit. But a local conservation group is trying to get a ban on the local version of the shark sandwiches. The concern is that the shark population is dwindling. The group wants the government to make the waters of Trinidad & Tobago a shark sanctuary.

by Oscar Wells Gabriel II

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

The Associated Press

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