AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREWalnut’s Malik Khouzam voted Southern California Boys Athlete of the Week Roscoe was picked up as a stray on Oct. 8 in South Gate, Reyes said, but because his agency had been informed that the Rescue Waggin’ a program sponsored by PetSmart was due to arrive at SEAACA’s shelter Thursday, “we just buckled down and made the space to hold him, keep him safe and healthy.’ “The state only mandates us to hold animals five days,’ Reyes added. SEAACA shelters animals for as long as space allows. But the facility is usually always maxed out and often has to house two to three dogs in a single holding pen, said Reyes. Last year, the Downey shelter euthanized 2,980 dogs. Now, officials there hope, with the help of the Rescue Waggin’ program, they can save about 60 dogs each month. DOWNEY — Roscoe, a tri-colored basset hound, swaggered down a red carpet Thursday morning outside the Southeast Area Animal Control Authority building. After licking an animal rescue worker, the hound boarded a truck headed for Sacramento, where he will be sheltered by the local Society for the Prevention of Cruelty Against Animals. Thanks to the Rescue Waggin’, a new program that transports dogs and puppies from overcrowded shelters to less-crowded facilities, 2-year-old Roscoe, with his droopy brown eyes and baritone howl, is alive today. “He could have been euthanized any time after Oct. 14,’ said Aaron Reyes, director of operations at SEAACA, which serves Pico Rivera, Santa Fe Springs, Montebello, South El Monte, Downey, Norwalk and six other cites under a contract. The PetSmart Rescue Waggin’ program started two years ago in the Midwest. It kicked off its California operation on Thursday with a Bon(e) Voyage Party for Roscoe and about 30 other dogs from the SEAACA shelter. Malcom David Kelly, a young actor who plays the character Walt on ABC’s hit television show “Lost,’ attended the kickoff party to show his support for the program. “I was adopted,’ he said at a news conference announcing the program’s California debut. “Helping adopt is important to me, whether it’s kids or animals. You never know what great things you’ll get.’ The Rescue Waggin’ transporting the 30 dogs from SEAACA was scheduled to arrive late Thursday afternoon at the Sacramento SPCA shelter. There, willing owners are ready to take them in, said Rick Johnson, SPCA executive director in Sacramento. “We adopt out at least 50 dogs each weekend,’ he said. “We need more dogs, and fortunately Southern California has animals that need homes. Also, animals come from SEAACA very healthy and in great spirits.’ This year, more than 500,000 animals are at risk of being euthanized in California, according to PetSmart Charities. The Rescue Waggin’ is paid for by private donations and corporate sponsorships. This year, the program will spend about $250,000 on medical care, staff and transportation costs. To donate to PetSmart Charities Rescue Waggin’ program, visit the Web site at www.petsmartcharities.org or call (800) 423- PETS. Sandy Mazza may be reached by calling (562) 698-0955, Ext. 3026, or by e-mail at email@example.com. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!