updated 4/15/2007 12:01:51 PM ET 2007-04-15T16:01:51

A California-based animal rescue group that received millions of dollars in donations after Hurricane Katrina has shut down amid a state investigation into how it spent the money.

Noah's Wish said it sheltered nearly 2,000 pets rescued after the 2005 hurricane swamped Louisiana and Mississippi.

National stories at the time prompted $8.5 million in donations to the organization, up from its usual $100,000 to $200,000 a year prior to the hurricane, according to financial records.

The organization was founded by Terri Crisp in 2002, but the nonprofit's board removed her as executive director on March 28.

Financial documents show Crisp was paid $140,900 after Katrina, up from the $6,200 she earned the previous year. Crisp said her pay rose temporarily to make up for previous years, and that she was to be paid $80,000 this year.

A notice on the organization's Web site says Noah's Wish is being investigated by the state attorney general. The statement says the agency's board disagrees with the state's legal interpretation that the Katrina funds should only have been used for animal victims of Katrina, not other disasters or general preparedness.

The attorney general's office isn't commenting, nor is an attorney representing Noah's Wish.

Crisp said the state probe began in June, but said she is confident investigators will find no intentional wrongdoing.

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