Sitting on a chair in Kitty City at the Southern Oregon Humane Society, Peyton Lewellyn petted a small orange and white kitten.

Sitting on a chair in Kitty City at the Southern Oregon Humane Society, Peyton Lewellyn petted a small orange and white kitten.

"It purrs so loud," said Peyton, a fourth-grader at Jewett Elementary School in Central Point.

Peyton and about 20 of his fourth-grade classmates in Lori Miller's class visited the Humane Society Wednesday to meet the animals and present a generous donation from their school.

The school raised $782.89 to donate to the shelter in honor of the Valentine's Day fundraiser, "Have a Heart for the Humane Society."

Miller's class raised $70, including $50 from one student — Brandon Bennett, who donated $25 of his own money and $25 from his parents.

"We did it so the animals can get more homes," said Brandon, 9.

The class broke up into three groups Wednesday afternoon and took a tour of the Humane Society, roaming through the gated kennels of Dog Town, and meeting some of the friendlier cats in the Cat Ville and Kitty City.

"I just love animals and so I wanted to help them," said Hailey Soles, 10, who brought $2 of her own money to class as a donation.

Some students who didn't have money to donate chose to bring in small bags of dog and cat food to donate.

The fundraising event was started by another teacher three years ago and the class in charge of the fundraiser usually volunteers to give up having a Valentine's Day party to donate to the shelter.

But Miller thinks her class will probably get the party anyway.

"I just love Valentine's Day," she said.

After meeting the cats and dogs at the shelter, most of Miller's students said they were happy their money was able to help the animals without homes.

"It's really nice for those dogs who don't have a home, or cats," said Maddy Bowers, 10, who has one dog of her own.

Some of Miller's students even piled into an outdoor dog kennel to get a feel for what it's like to live outdoors, with a concrete floor.

"I think it's sad that animals have to stay in cages and they don't get as much love," said Jocelyn Schelin, 10.

"It feels good to know that we're helping," said student Carson Crenshaw.

After receiving two heart-shaped arrangements made of $1 bills, SOHS Executive Director Kenn Altine said the school raised twice the amount that was raised last year.

"That's fantastic. That's a phenomenal amount of money," said Altine.

Each classroom at Jewett held friendly competitions to gather the most money for the Humane Society, with one third-grade student, Angelina Estes, raising $103 by asking people around town for dollar bills.

Reach reporter Teresa Ristow at 541-776-4459 or