Just five days after elderly patients at the Golden West Convalescent Hospital held a birthday party in honor of their adopted mascot, Duchess, the 5-year-old German shepherd was struck and killed by a passing car.
Spokeswoman Mary Jackson said the dog apparently slipped through an open door Monday afternoon and was hit by a car just outside the Inglewood Avenue hospital in Hawthorne.
The driver stopped and called the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, but Duchess apparently was killed instantly, officials said. The driver was not cited.
The society provided Duchess for adoption by Golden West in October, 1982, when she was just a puppy. For the last five years she has been a source of delight and comfort to the elderly patients, Jackson said.