Tennessee grandmother drove with children locked in pet kennels in trunk, police say

A Tennessee grandmother was arrested on Saturday after video showed her transporting her grandchildren in pet kennels in her truck’s trunk as temperatures reached nearly 100 degrees, police said.

Leimome Cheeks allegedly admitted to putting her grandchildren, ages 7 and 8, inside the pet kennels because “there was no room” in her white Ford Explorer, FOX13 Memphis reported. The 62-year-old was caught in the act when video posted on social media showed Cheeks opening the kennels’ gates as the children climbed out of the cramped space.

“When I saw her [Cheeks] face on Facebook, I was like wait a minute that looks like my neighbor across the street,” Cheeks’ neighbor Camillia Cowan told FOX13.

The children were in the kennels when temperatures reached 95 degrees on Saturday. Police said the trunk of the vehicle was extremely hot and there was no air conditioning to help circulate and cool the air, the affidavit stated.

Leimome Cheeks, 62, was arrested on Saturday for allegedly transporting her two grandchildren in pet kennels in the trunk of her car.

Leimome Cheeks, 62, was arrested on Saturday for allegedly transporting her two grandchildren in pet kennels in the trunk of her car. (Shelby County Sheriff's Office)

Cheeks allowed her grandchildren to sit in the cramped space on a hot day while driving to Whitehaven, Tenn., to Collierville, Tenn., about 25 miles apart.

She allegedly told police that she would check on the children periodically and “later removed them from the kennel and put them in the rear seats of her vehicle,” the affidavit read.

Cowan said Cheeks might have not known what she was doing was wrong.

“I don’t think she knew because she loves her grandkids,” Cowan said. “They’re always outside playing with the dogs and stuff.”

Cheeks charged with two counts of child endangerment. She was released on bond Sunday morning and appeared in court Monday, but was ordered to return on July 9 with an attorney.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.