Community Steps up After Couple Uses Dream Wedding Fund to Save Dog

September 19, 2012  

As first posted on Dogtime on Sept. 12, 2012

A loving couple from Port Orange, Fla., is making headlines this week for putting their puppy’s life ahead of their own wedding dreams.

When Melanie Cannon and Eddie Hanna’s puppy, Koda, developed severe illnesses, requiring expensive vet treatments and medication, the two decided to use the money they had saved for their October wedding to cover the cost of saving the dog’s life.

“We had everything already scheduled, everything already set,” Cannon told The Daytona Beach News Journal last Thursday.

Cannon and Hanna first met Koda at the Halifax Humane Society in Daytona Beach. Little Koda was the runt of his litter, a sweet pit bull terrier mix, and the newly engaged couple fell in love with him at first sight.

As the runt, however, Koda would have an uphill battle. Cannon and Hanna adopted him knowing that he already had a few health issues, but when his condition began to deteriorate, they knew that something was seriously wrong.

The couple’s instincts were right; when they took Koda to the veterinarian, the doc explained that Koda had the worst case of liver shunt that he had ever seen.

When a dog is diagnosed with liver shunt, it means that his or her liver is not getting enough blood to do its job. The liver acts like a big strainer, filtering out the body’s toxins. Due to Koda’s condition, the little pup’s liver could not function properly and as a result, his health was fading fast. Without immediate medical intervention, Koda’s case of liver shunt would be fatal.

Cannon and Hanna decided that they were going to do whatever was necessary to save Koda’s life. After the pet insurance company refused to pay for Koda’s expensive treatment, the couple cashed in all of the money they had saved for their wedding.

But the decision to sacrifice their big day was one that they would make again, Hanna explained. “We just did what anybody would have done. He deserves to be alive and to be loved,” Hanna said of little Koda.

The folks at the Halifax Humane Society heard what the couple had done to save their sick puppy, to give Koda a the chance at a happy, healthy life.

“It really hit home with our entire staff,” explained Halifax Humane Society Executive Director Miguel Abi-hassan. “We felt we needed to be able to do something to turn that around.”

So the organization’s staff went to work to see if they could put together the dream wedding that Cannon and Hanna deserved. The Halifax Humane Society contacted businesses in the community to see if any would be willing to donate goods or services towards the couple’s big day, and the response was overwhelming.

“Having as many dogs as we do daughters, we understand the never-ending vet bills, pounds of dog food each week; this was such a natural fit to help with this wonderful event,” Chef Lynne Monroe explained. Monroe co-owns Amber’s Jewel Catering with her husband, and when she heard what Cannon and Hanna had done to save their dog, she knew that she had to help. Amber’s Jewel Catering will be providing the food, linens, décor, and reception space for the couple’s dream wedding.

“We know that we have spent as much on our pets as we will on our girls’ weddings, how could we not want a hand in this occasion?” Monroe said.

Cannon and Hanna are touched by the kindnesses their community has shown them and look forward to finally being able to walk down the aisle knowing that Koda is out of the woods.

“It’s amazing that you go through life and have these experiences and obstacles and people reward you for doing the right thing,” Cannon said.

(Photo credit: Quinn Cowart)

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11 Responses to “Community Steps up After Couple Uses Dream Wedding Fund to Save Dog”
  1. I have chills reading this story!!

  2. ReneeMKeller says:

    This is so completely wonderful!!!  I, of course, am crying!!!  

  3. adoremydogs says:

    Awesome story!  Awesome example of love!  Awesome community!  I love Koda’s lovely baby face! 

  4. DianaJones says:

    The goodness in this world, sometimes we forget, and it only takes a cute little pittie to show the world!

  5. KarenBertelsenMorgan says:

    What wonderfully amazing people! Speedy recovery to Koda, and I best of luck to you.  I hope you have a long and happy live with your lovely pup!

  6. JamieCTR says:

    Just awesome. Happy tears. : D

  7. Matt.S says:

    This is so touching. The sacrifice made for Koda and the response of their community is heartwarming.