Leimome Cheeks, 62, has been charged with two counts of child endangerment after the children, aged seven and eight, were released.
Other residents called the grandmother, who cares for two puppies, a woman of strong faith.
With temperatures reaching the 95-degree mark, the 7 and 8-year-old told officers they were hot since there were no vents in the back of the vehicle.
Police in Tennessee say a woman, identified as Leimome Cheeks, was charged after mobile phone video emerged of the incident. "For them to be in the hot vehicle like that in cages is sad", neighbor Nikita Blake said.
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. She's such a nice lady.
A Memphis grandmother is out on bond, accused of putting her two grandkids in dog kennels and driving them across Memphis.
"I think she needs some help".
Local 24 reporter, Annette Peagler went to Cheeks home and tried to get a comment from her family, but no one answered the door.
The bystander, who asked to remain anonymous, sent the video to Memphis Police.
An affidavit states Cheeks admitted to putting the kids in the kennels and drove them from Whitehaven to Collierville then to Downtown Memphis, checking on them periodically.