LANSING, Mich. (WILX) -- More than six thousand postal service employees were attacked by dogs last year.
According to data from the United States Postal Service over half a dozen carriers were bitten by dogs in mid-Michigan last year.
Those dog owners can be held liable for medical bills, repayment of lost work hours, and other costs if their dog attacks a mail carrier.
To keep carriers safe, the postal service is asking customers to do a couple of things.
For door- to-door delivery the dog should be in a separate room with a closed door before opening the door to greet a carrier.
The postal service says electronic fencing does not protect carriers who have to deliver mail.
That carrier could think a home is animal free if they don't see a fence, which could be a dangerous mistake.
If a family's dog is in their yard make sure it's on a leash and away from where a carrier delivers mail.
Finally, carriers use mobile delivery scanners to confirm deliveries.
The device includes a feature that indicates if there's a dog at a home or business.
The postal service urges customers to use its scheduling app to indicate if they have a dog.
If they do, the postal service sends alerts to those carriers.
If the mail carrier doesn't feel safe making a delivery, customers may be asked to pick up their mail from a nearby post office.