As aid workers from around the world descended on the Philippines to help the people hardest hit by Typhoon Haiyan last month, Springer Browne headed toward the devastation for a different reason: the animals.
The 31-year-old Newport Beach native made the trip as a volunteer for World Vets, a sort of veterinary equivalent of the humanitarian group Doctors Without Borders, which provides urgent medical care worldwide.
World Vets sends veterinarians to work with animals around the world through various projects based on an area's needs. The nonprofit is one of just a few international aid organizations founded specifically for veterinary health.
"Most people were super-excited" to have medication and food for their pets, he said.
For many, Browne added, the emotion was about more than preserving creature companionship.
"Animals are their livelihood," he said about people in many parts of the world.
Browne spent about a month traveling through storm-ravaged cities and farming villages in the Philippines, dispensing vaccines or patching up animals wounded by flying sheet metal.