Emotional support animal debate comes to a boil at Racine’s lakeside condos

Tia Cao with her two dogs, which are certified emotional support animals.

RACINE — A lakefront condominium complex and its residents are grappling with seemingly conflicting federal and state laws regarding the hot-button debate surrounding assistance animals.

Earlier this summer, John Miller, 49, and his girlfriend, Tia Cao, had two dogs living with them at Lakeshore Towers, 333 Lake Ave. The dogs, both Pomeranians weighing less than 10 pounds each, are certified emotional support animals, according to a document provided by Miller.

However, Lakeshore has a strict one pet maximum per residence. A grievance was filed against Miller, who now faces a fine and was asked to remove the dogs. But he thinks the dogs, which belong to Cao, should be exempt from the rule because of their assistance animal designation.