LAKEWOOD, Ohio (WJW) – Plenty of pet owners have four-legged friends that bark at the mail carrier, but many would be surprised to learn that many of those dogs are injuring mail carriers at an alarming rate.

“Cleveland ranked number four in the country, we had 43 dog bites,” Lakewood Post Office manager Tracy Carter said. “That may not seem like a lot, but 43 employees got injured.”

The United States Postal Service said the number of mail carriers being bitten is far too high. Ahead of National Dog Bite Awareness Week, it is rededicating efforts for a familiar campaign called the Paw Program.

“We do send out little cards, which tells them that we would like to place a little sticker on their mailbox,” Carter said.

It’s a simple concept. Postal workers will place a orange sticker on your mailbox if you have a dog at your house or a green/yellow sticker if there is a dog next door. The stickers serve as a warning system to allow mail carriers to know what’s coming along the route, which is extremely helpful for carriers who are not familiar with a given route.

Lakewood resident Spain James is one of the first in Lakewood this year to have a sticker posted. He wasn’t aware of the reason for the program, but thinks it is doing some good.

“If it helps the carriers, move ahead with it,” James said.

The Paw Program is rolling out all over the Cleveland area, not just Lakewood. Carter said it is also very helpful for mail carriers delivering packages.

“I want to thank all of our residents of Lakewood and all throughout the city for helping us prevent dog bites and allow our carriers to do their job safely,” she said.