From the Times Picayune (8/9/07)
Under fire for how it spent millions of dollars in donations earmarked for rescuing and caring for animals in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, a California animal rescue organization has agreed to relinquish the $4 million that remains to help the storm's animal victims, particularly those in hard-hit Slidell.
Noah's Wish, which spent several weeks in Slidell after the storm and received more than $8 million in donations from around the country, reached the settlement last month after the California attorney general's office investigated spending practices by the organization that included a mammoth pay raise and the purchase of new vehicles for the organization's executive director.
As part of the settlement, Noah’s Wish must hand over the $4 million to the attorney general’s office. The money will be placed in a special account and distributed to beneficiaries that assist animal victims of Hurricane Katrina. Of the $4 million, $1 million was contractually agreed to go to the City of Slidell, La., to construct a shelter to replace one that was destroyed in the hurricane. Money will be reserved specifically for that purpose to fulfill the agreement. In addition, approximately $125,000 will be used to reimburse the attorney general’s office for costs incurred during the investigation.
The settlement also states that Terri Crisp, board member and founder of the nonprofit, may not be employed or attached to Noah’s Wish in any manner. Crisp also is forbidden from serving as a director, officer or trustee with any other nonprofit for the next five years.
While I don't fault all of the wonderful volunteers for this organization and the awesome job they did for months after Katrina, I am pretty disgusted with the higher ups that made the decision to embezzle monies from donations for the relief of these lost and abandoned pets.