An American grandma has been charged with child endangerment after transporting her two grandchildren in dog kennels in the back of her car.
Leimome Cheeks, 62, was captured on video letting the children, aged seven and eight, out of the cages after driving for more than 30 minutes from Whitehaven to Collierville, in Memphis.
The video, captured by a local resident, quickly went viral on social media and garnered thousands of comments from people concerned by what they saw.
According to a report by local news station WREG News, Cheeks told her grandkids to get inside the kennels because there was no room in the back seat of the car.
The news station wrote that the two children told police they were hot in the kennels as there were no vents in the back of the car, and temperatures soared to over 30 degrees celsius (86F).
Neighbours told the station that Cheeks had recently purchased two German Shepherd puppies and the kennels were meant for them.
“I’m just so sad for the babies. For them to be in the hot car like that in cages is sad,” one neighbour said.
The story soon attracted international attention, with media outlets around the world reporting on the case. The attention grew so rabid that the Memphis Police Department issued a statement on Facebook saying they had been contacted by many people since the video went viral on social media. They said they had charged Cheeks with two counts of Child Endangerment.
The local resident who captured the footage told WREG News he was glad he was able to catch Cheeks in the act and encourages others to do the same if they are faced with an unsavoury situation.
Cheeks was being held Sunday in the Shelby County Jail.