Volunteer rescue worker Priscilla Salazar checks for signs that a pup she rescued from Sunset Beach, Cali., is still alive. The pup was suffering from hypothermia and starvation, and for awhile had seemed to have stopped breathing. With a gentle nudge, the pup began to wheeze and gurgle. It was still alive. Salazar has a business degree, but she has long loved marine animals. "I took a marine mammal class. That's the only textbook I ever kept. I was like 18 and in high school," she says. Between shifts waiting tables, she volunteers at the rescue center, sometimes for 16 hours at a stretch when the strandings were at their peak.