In an effort to help people with HIV and AIDS keep their pets, the Damien Center in Albany held their 7th annual 'Bowling for PAWS' fundraiser on Sunday.

Participating bowlers helped raise over $15,000.

Proceeds will go toward expenses like veterinary needs, pet food and volunteer in-home care.

The Albany Damien Center supports pets and their owners who rely on the funds that the PAWS program raises.

PAWS, or 'Pets are Wonderful Support,’ began in 2003 when employees at the Damien Center noticed too many people who were sick and living with AIDS had to give up their pets.

“The bond between our person living with AIDS and pets is extraordinary. Often times, this is the only part of their family in life that gives unconditional support and love," said Perry Junjulas, executive director at Albany Damien Center.

The Damien Center’s PAWS program currently supports 125 members living with AIDS and 132 pets.