(WSVN) - Many seniors spend their retirement traveling or relaxing, but one group is using their time to cook up a special treat for rescued animals. Heather Walker has our 7 Spotlight.

These seniors are baking up something special in Broward.

Paulette: “I don’t know how to make cookies!”

But they’re not making any ordinary cookies.

Instead, the residents at Independence Hall Retirement Community are whipping up treats for some furry friends.

Pat Andrews, resident: “We never really did anything like that before. We’re enjoying it.”

They call it Baking for Barkers.

It’s an idea cooked up by the facility’s program director, Paula.

She knew many of her residents loved animals, so she created the cooking class to play to that passion while bringing the seniors together.

Paula Reis, program director: “So that’s really my job, right? My job is coming here, programming, and that’s what makes me feel good. And I see them doing and laughing and having a great time.”

Paula pitched the idea to the people at a local animal rescue called Abandoned Pet Rescue, and they jumped at the chance to be involved.

Kara Starcyk, Abandoned Pet Rescue: “They said some of their residents were interested in baking cookies for our dogs. Being close together in the same neighborhood, we thought it was a wonderful partnership.”

Each month, the residents roll up their sleeves and roll out the dough.

The baking brings back good memories for many of them.

Pat Andrews: “It’s fun. Everybody relives when we used to bake cookies at home, and we love helping the dogs out.”

The dough is made with eggs, flour, peanut butter and pumpkin puree, which are all safe for dogs.

Pat Andrews: “And I ate one of them, and they’re good. It’s only peanut butter.”

They form the dough into bone and dog shapes, and then put them in the oven to bake.

They’re packed up in glass containers and taken to Abandoned Pet Rescue, where the residents get a chance to spend time with the dogs and the cats.

Kara Starcyk: “I know they’re bringing joy to our animals, and I’m pretty sure that the animals are bringing joy to them as well.”

It provides a sense of purpose for these seniors, and some tasty treats for the dogs.

Heather Walker, 7News.

If you know of a person, place or group that you think we should highlight, email us at 7spotlight@wsvn.com.

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