The children, ages 8 and 9, told police the kennels were very hot Saturday.
The report also notes that the temperature "reached 95 degrees and there were no vents in the rear of the Ford Explorer".
Cheeks admitted to traveling with the kids from Whitehaven to Collierville, which is a 35-minute drive. A police affidavit cited by the Commercial Appeal cited a similar statement from Cheeks, who reportedly said "there was no room inside the vehicle earlier in the day".
"I'm just so sad for the babies", neighbor Nikita Blake told local station WREG.
A video taken by a passerby appears to show a young girl hopping out of a kennel from the trunk of the vehicle after a woman opens the metal cage door. "If she did that, then that's out of character for her", Eugene Richmond said.
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He said: "It is shocking, it really is". I only met her like once maybe twice.
Cowan recently bought two German Shepard puppies, neighbors told WREG. I couldn't see her actually doing that.
He aded that the incident could have been an "honest mistake" and that the grandmother should "get help".
Children's Services and Memphis Police are investigating.
The kids told police that there was no air in the back of the vehicle, later moving them into the backseat.